Sam Smith was left "shocked" and "speechless" after he witnessed a friend suffer a barrage of racial abuse in London.
The Stay With Me singer was spending time with his pal in the British capital when the incident occurred, and Sam later took to Twitter.com to explain he was deeply affected by what he saw and now wants to "shine some sort of light" on race issues.
"Just experienced my friend getting verbally abused racially in London. I am absolutely SPEECHLESS," he writes in a series of tweets on Wednesday morning (20Jan16). "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."
Sam's brush with racism comes amid a furore in Hollywood over the lack of black actors shortlisted for Oscar nominations this year (16). Stars including Jada Pinkett Smith, Don Cheadle and Spike Lee have spoken out against the lack of diversity, prompting President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Cheryl Boone Isaacs to issue a statement promising to change the system.
She wrote, "The Academy is taking dramatic steps to alter the makeup of our membership. In the coming days and week we will conduct a review of our membership recruitment in order to bring about much-needed diversity in our 2016 class and beyond."
Jada has since praised Isaacs for her "quick response in regard to the issue at hand".
Sam has scored a Best Original Song Oscar nomination for his Spectre track Writing's On The Wall, and he will compete against stars including Lady Gaga and Ellie Goulding for the coveted trophy at the 2016 Academy Awards on 28 February (16).