British soul singer Sam Smith has inadvertently stumbled into yet another controversy after scooping the best newcomer gong at last weekend’s Black Entertainment Television (BET) awards. Smith may be a novice in the music business, but he has already won more than 20 industry awards in his short career. Smith didn’t show up at the BET awards ceremony at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles, so actor Anthony Anderson picked up the gong on his behalf.
According to the Independent, the first whiff of controversy came when Anderson seemed to accuse Smith of swerving the awards because he is white.
“Anderson said, ‘Sam Smith isn’t here tonight because he’s white and he didn’t think he would win at the BET Awards. He didn’t think he could win. But we showed him that we love him, too.'”
Smith may not have attended the awards, but he was clearly delighted, if surprised, to have won another award to add to his growing collection. Sam took to social media to share the news of his win with his followers.
Somewhat sadly, Smith’s win was not appreciated by everyone. According to Liberty Voice, many people were upset at Smith’s win because they believe that the award should have gone to a black artist. Others felt that with a host of awards already under his belt, Smith should not have been considered for a “best newcomer” award.
Many people feel that the BET awards, like the MOBOs, should focus on recognizing and celebrating the talent of black artists who arguably face bigger barriers to success. Others feel that Smith is a worthy winner of the BET award because his soulful style of music is rooted in black culture.
This is not the first time that Sam Smith has been embroiled in a similar controversy. Smith scooped no fewer than four awards at last year’s Music of Black Origin (MOBO) awards. Again, on that occasion, many people felt that the awards should have gone to black artists. Comedian Rufus Hound summed up the feeling of many when he took to Twitter to criticize the number of white people winning MOBOs.
Thank god it was mainly white people winning MOBOS. For a second there, I worried black people might feel celebrated #phew
— Rufus Hound (@RufusHound) October 22, 2014
Of course, poor Sam has absolutely no say in who wins awards, and he may well be upset at the unfair criticism leveled at him. The MOBOs, like the BET awards, were set up to celebrate black artists and music, and some feel that the awards should not go to white artists.
Sam Smith will no doubt just want to get back to doing what he does best, singing.
What do Inquisitr readers think? Should awards aimed at black artists go to white artists like Sam Smith?
[Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]