An Awkward Moment on This Morning: Bob Geldof Repeatedly Misgenders Sam Smith

Sam Smith attends The BRIT Awards 2023 at The O2 Arena on February 11, 2023 in London, England
Getty Images | Dave J Hogan/Getty Images

Irish singer, Bob Geldof, is in hot water for repeatedly misgendering fellow musician, Sam Smith, on the talk show This Morning.

Adding to the controversy is the fact that the show's co-hosts, Holly Willoughby and Philip Schofield, didn't correct Geldof — despite the fact that Smith switched to they/them pronouns more than three years ago.

Geldof Was Reminiscing About His Career.

Bob Geldof on a talk show
youtube | This Morning

His appearance started in a straightforward way, as he talked about his career in the Boomtown Rats and discussed the high price of real estate.

The Conversation Turned To Sam Smith.

Bob Geldof on a talk show
youtube | This Morning

It makes perfect sense, as Geldof was discussing his music career and segued into a discussion of Sam Smith. The two know each other and collaborated on a song in 2014.

Geldof Kept Calling Smith 'He.'

It didn't seem to be maliciously motivated. After all, Smith went by masculine pronouns when they worked with Geldof, who perhaps didn't get the memo that Smith uses different pronouns now.

Smith Identifies As Non-Binary.

Way back in September of 2019 — pre-pandemic times! — Smith announced that they'd be using they/them pronouns instead of he/him.

It Was A Decision With A Lot Of Meaning.

Smith wrote, "After a lifetime of being at war with my gender I’ve decided to embrace myself for who I am, inside and out."

Geldof Clearly Had No Idea.

Musician Bob Geldof in concert
Wikimedia Commons | Michiel1972

He continually referred to Smith using masculine pronouns, saying, "Sam Smith, I remember him at the microphone had his eyes closed, and he was singing away to the song."

Neither host corrected Geldof.

Bob Geldof on a talk show
youtube | This Morning

It seems that Geldof had no idea that Smith had changed their pronouns, and judging by the response, neither of the hosts had any idea either. It's still fairly disappointing to see all three of the people on the show fail to recognize Smith's preferred pronouns.

It ignited a firestorm on Twitter.

Almost as soon as the show aired, there was a backlash on Twitter — and, predictably, a backlash to the backlash (and probably some backlash to that, too).

This Might Be Part Of A Larger Theme.

Earlier in the month, ITV — the same network that aired the Geldof interview made the exact same mistake, although it was on a different show. Host Ranvir Singh also referred to Smith as 'he.'

Smith Hasn't Publicly Responded.

Their latest Instagram post teases "something unholy on set," but doesn't reference the Geldof interview.

It's Been A Great Year For Smith.

Although the singer has been on the scene for around 15 years, their career has really taken off in the past couple of years. Earlier this month, they made headlines for a mind-bending latex outfit that was worn at the BRIT Awards.

It's Been All About The Collabs Lately.

Smith released Gloria in late January, but had spent much of the previous year collaborating with artists like Summer Walker and Kim Petras. In fact, the Petras duet represented the first openly non-binary and first openly transgender musicians to release a number one hit.

Does Smith Care About Being Misgendered?

It's tough to say without putting words in their mouth, but judging by Smith's announcement, it does matter a great deal that they're referred to by their preferred pronouns. At the same time, Smith and Geldof seem to have a good relationship, and it doesn't seem like Geldof was trying to cause any drama.

There's A Lesson Here.

Anyone who's had a friend or family member come out as non-binary can tell you that it's tough to switch up pronouns, and mistakes are inevitable. That said, it's important to correct oneself when these mistakes happen and to bargain in good faith.

There's Nothing Wrong With Using Someone's Preferred Pronouns.

A quick look at Twitter shows many users outraged that Smith uses anything but he/him pronouns, along with an obsessive focus on their genitalia. It doesn't need to be this way. Just use the pronouns that a person prefers.

Things Are Going Just Fine For Sam Smith.

A quick search of 'Sam Smith' on Twitter shows no shortage of hot takes, but looking at Smith's actual profile shows them having good times with friends.

Have You Heard 'Gloria'?

The album received decent reviews, so it'll be interesting to see how it performs in 2023.

We Have To Talk About Sam Smith's Wardrobe

The BRIT Awards ensemble certainly grabbed attention, but true Sam Smith stans have known about their wild fashion sense for awhile now.

What Do You Think Of This Drama?

It doesn't seem like Bob Geldof or Sam Smith are interested in the beef — but it's still led to some good conversations online. Let us know what you think in the comments.