TV host under fire for misgendering non-binary Sam Smith and calling them 'fella'

Viewers criticized British TV host Lorraine Kelly for using male pronouns when referring to the non-binary singer Sam Smith.
During her ITV daytime show, Lorraine, on Thursday (July 13), the 63-year-old presenter discussed the celebrity outfits at the European premiere of the Barbie film with Vogue Williams. Most of the guests wore all-pink outfits, but the 31-year-old singer-songwriter, who identifies as non-binary and prefers they/them pronouns, chose a more casual look.

Smith donned an oversized navy sweatshirt with the words "16 XL" emblazoned on the front and baggy jeans to the highly anticipated movie event.
During the discussion on the show, Vogue Williams jokingly commented that Sam Smith, the artist behind the hit song "Unholy," seemed to be dressed for an airport rather than a highly-publicized event. However, while Williams used they/them pronouns when referring to Smith, the host repeatedly referred to the singer as "he" and "him" during the fashion segment.

According to the Daily Mail, Kelly remarked, "It's a bit big for him. If he was my son, I'd be saying, 'Son, that's too big for you,'" and added, "He's going to stand out. He knows what he's doing, does that fella."

Numerous viewers expressed their dissatisfaction with the talk show host's misgendering of Sam Smith, taking to social media to voice their disappointment. One user noted that Lorraine has typically been good with such matters but seemed to repeatedly misgender Sam Smith, causing visible discomfort to Vogue. The user believed that Lorraine would be upset about getting it wrong.

Another disappointed viewer mentioned that Lorraine seemed unaware of Sam Smith's chosen pronouns, commenting on the awkwardness of the situation. A third individual criticized Lorraine for using numerous male pronouns when referring to Sam Smith, despite the singer being one of the most well-known non-binary individuals. They believed Lorraine was deliberate in her choice of pronouns.

Yet another person expressed frustration, stating that it should be "they/them" for Sam Smith, and Vogue was aware of this, but Lorraine appeared indifferent to the correct pronouns.

Amid the backlash, Kelly said that her wording had been unintentional and thanked viewers for making her aware of her misgendering Smith.

"Fair comment. Not in the least intentional but will take on board – thanks for bringing to my attention," she penned on Twitter.

Smith - who has written a song titled 'Man I Am' for the Barbie soundtrack - came out as non-binary in 2019 via a statement on Twitter.

"Today is a good day so here goes,” the 'Gloria' singer wrote. "I’ve decided I am changing my pronouns to THEY/THEM. After a lifetime of being at war with my gender, I’ve decided to embrace myself for who I am, inside and out…"

Speaking about pronouns and misgendering to Zane Lowe last year, the award-winning singer said: "I just want to create a safe space for everyone. But also, we’re all learning together," as cited by The Independent.

"The pronoun thing is interesting because mistakes happen. Even me, I make mistakes quite a lot, and it’s an uncomfortable feeling making a mistake. Editing yourself is great, but I think it’s really good for people to see you mess up … and then correct yourself," they added.

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