AceShowbiz - Sam Smith has found support in their fans. The English singer has been defended by their loyal supporters after their music video for their new song "I'm Not Here to Make Friends" sparked controversy.
The visual sees the 30-year-old singer arriving at a stately home in a helicopter before dancing in a variety of flamboyant outfits alongside a large troupe of backing dancers. At one point, a fountain of water is seen being sprayed into their mouth.
In other scenes, the dancers are filmed slowly thrusting on a bed wearing only black leather underwear before surrounding Sam while dancing provocatively. Some online critics labeled the scenes "hyper-sexualized."
Fortunately, fans quickly defended the "Unholy" hitmaker, pointing out how similarly risque videos have been released by global artists such as Madonna's "Like a Prayer", Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball" and Queen's "I Want to Break Free".
"Sex has always been a running theme in modern pop music, and music videos often flaunt it," tweeted journalist Owen Jones. "But Sam Smith has made the criminal offence of being a) queer and b) not skinny, and in an increasingly anti-LGBTQ culture, that can't be tolerated."
Others said that if a cisgender/female pop artist was the one in the video, no one would have been outraged. "If a straight white cis woman popstar did what sam smith did there would be no problem," said academic Dr. Charlotte Proudman, "People just don't like that Sam is queer, plus sized and unapologetic about it."
Someone else opined, "There are thousands, if not millions, of far more sexually explicit pop videos than that Sam Smith one. Most of them will feature young girls. It must be exhausting being so hateful all the time. And to be so utterly terrified of difference."
The news came after Sam admitted that they face more transphobic abuse in the U.K. than they do abroad. "Just the amount of hate, and s**tness [sic] that came my way, was just exhausting. And it was really hard," they shared.
"What people don't realize, with trans non-binary people in the U.K., is it's happening in the street. Like I'm being abused in the street, verbally, more than I ever have," the "I'm Not the Only One" crooner continued. "So that was the hardest part, I think, was being at home in the UK and having people shouting at me in the street."