Sam Smith’s new music video brings out the haters — and a lot of supporters

A person with short white hair singing into a microphone and wearing a sparkly jacket
Sam Smith performs at the 2022 iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas.
(John Locher / Associated Press)

Fans are defending Sam Smith online after their latest music video received a wave of fatphobic, anti-LGBTQ criticism.

Since the video for Smith’s new track “I’m Not Here to Make Friends” debuted on Friday, haters have body-shamed and misgendered the pop musician on social media.

In the video, the singer models a number of glamorous costumes — ranging from a giant, fluffy, hot-pink coat to a white corset and matching nipple covers — while singing about their “blessing of a body to love on.”

Some have claimed that the visuals are overly sexual and inappropriate for children. Others have mocked Smith’s appearance and/or accused them of being a “groomer” — a term often used inaccurately to vilify members of the LGBTQ community. A few words that internet trolls and conservative pundits have used to describe the video are “immoral,” “disgusting,” “vulgar” and “depraved.”


Smith’s record label did not immediately respond Tuesday to The Times’ request for comment.

However, numerous fans, members of the LGBTQ community and others have leaped to Smith’s defense and called out the complainers for their remarks.

Sam Smith declared Friday that “they” and “them” are the correct pronouns to use when referring to the singer.

Sept. 13, 2019

“wild how sam smith was probably one of the most well-loved queer artists by straight people out there for so many years but all it took was a little weight gain and five seconds presenting as anything less than masculine for them to turn into a laughing stock to you people,” tweeted @gl99dys.

“I was going to ask ‘what has sam smith done to deserve this amount of hate directed at them’ but it’s quite literally that they’re queer and fat isn’t it,” tweeted @das_penman. “that’s what it comes down to.”

“The backlash against Sam Smith is absolutely about people not wanting people to be overtly sexual unless they’re skinny,” tweeted @marcusjdl. “If they were doing that routine with exposed abs there would be no articles about this debating if it’s suitable for children.”

Singer Sam Smith calls for awards shows to be “reflective of the society we live in” after the Brit Awards reportedly opted to keep gendered categories.

March 12, 2021


Several pointed out that the outfits and choreography featured in the “I’m Not Here to Make Friends” video are no more experimental and sex-positive than those of Smith’s predecessors and contemporaries. Because of their body and identity, some argued that Smith has been held to a double standard.

“There are thousands, if not millions, of far more sexually explicit pop videos than that Sam Smith one,” tweeted @AidanJohnMoffat. “Most of them will feature young girls. It must be exhausting being so hateful all the time. And to be so utterly terrified of difference.”

“I finally watched the Sam Smith video and was like ‘that’!’” tweeted @SoozUK. “Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon were in full joyful drag in the I Want To Break Free video almost 40 years ago. In the middle Freddie is writhing with ballet dancers. Ya bunch of prudes.”

“harry styles, a straight man shows femininity and wears dresses in videos and gets praised for it, sam smith a non binary person does the same and is misgendered and shamed,” tweeted @keaaaaley. “social media makes me sick.”

Smith released the music video for “I’m Not Here to Make Friends” in tandem with their new album, “Gloria.” See more responses to the backlash below.