Several entertainment outlets are under fire after claiming that “no men” were amongst those nominated for the MTV Music Video of the Year award despite two biological males being amongst the nominees.
Users on X (formerly Twitter) first started raising their eyebrows at the news after noticing Sam Smith, who identifies as “non-binary,” was amongst the nominees in a bid for the coveted award.
Reportedly, Smith was nominated for his controversial song Unholy, which also features transgender pop star Kim Petras. Petras, who has made headlines in the past for being one of the youngest trans-identified males in the world to undergo medical transition, was also nominated.
Despite media outlets like Metro and PopCrave reporting that “no men” had been nominated for the award, many people online were quick to point out that Smith and Petras are biological males and should not be celebrated as female nominees.
Political commentator Amala Ekpunobi jokingly quoted a photo of the nominees on X: “Welcome to Clown World where Sam Smith is somehow not a man.”
Co-founder of The Publica, Jeremy Hambly, also took to X to remind people that Smith’s preferred gender identity does not align with the reality of his biological sex.
“Sam Smith (pictured below) is a biological man,” he wrote.
In contrast, other X users responded to the backlash by attempting to remind people that Sam Smith is non-binary and, therefore, does not qualify as being categorized as a “man.”
Smith came out as non-binary and genderqueer during an interview with actress Jameela Jamil in mid-2019, Gay Times reports. Smith first explained that he believed he “thought” like a woman did.
“I’ve always had a little bit of a war going within my body and my mind.” he said. “I do think like a woman sometimes, in my head. Sometimes I’ve questioned ‘do I want a sex change?’ And it’s something I still think about. ‘Do I want to?’ But I don’t think it is.”
He continued: “When I saw the words ‘non-binary’ and ‘genderqueer’ and I read into it, and I heard this person speaking, I was like ‘f*ck, that’s me.’”
Smith later changed his pronouns to “they/them.”
“Today is a good day so here goes. 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,” he wrote in September of 2019.
In 2021, Smith called for the BRIT Artist of the Year award to be made “gender neutral,” a change that was later implemented. While Adele won the first “gender neutral” version of the award in 2022, no female artists were nominated this year, something Smith called “a shame.”
According to MTV’s website, Sam Smith and Kim Petras are nominated among Taylor Swift for her hit single Anti-Hero, Miley Cyrus for her chart-topping video for Flowers, Nicki Minaj for Super Freaky Girl, Olivia Rodrigo for her new single Vampire, and SZA for Kill Bill.