Sam Smith has responded to the criticism he received after witnessing a shocking incident of racial abuse.
The Stay With Me singer took to Twitter.com on Wednesday (20Jan16) to share the incident which left him startled, writing, "Just experienced my friend getting verbally abused racially in London. I am absolutely SPEECHLESS."
He continued, "I never ever ever ever thought that would happen here. Absolutely speechless and hurt. I feel like I have to shine some sort of light on it. The police were so unhelpful in the situation and its deeply shocked me... Humans are HUMANS... I feel like I have to say something. I'm just so upset. So UPSET."
However, the Grammy winner was faced with a barrage of criticism online, with users sarcastically writing that Smith had "just discovered" racism still occurs in the world today. One headline from hip-hop magazine Complex reads: "Sam Smith Discovers Racism Still Exists in 2016".
Smith took to Instagram.com late on Wednesday to clarify his comments, writing, "For the record, I was merely sharing an experience I had in the hope it would draw attention to how ridiculous it is to be racist in 2016. This is not about me in any way. It's about a deep rooted issue we have in our society that should now be extinct."
He continued, "I don't profess to know or remotely understand what it means to be on the receiving end of racist abuse, but having been bullied my whole life for being gay, what I do know is that it is wrong and completely unacceptable... Here's to people being allowed to be people."