Sam Smith has hit back at criticism he’s received after he tweeted his shock at witnessing his friend being racially abused on a night out in London earlier this week.

In the early hours of Wednesday (January 20th), the ‘Stay With Me’ singer took to Twitter to express his horror at the situation, with a series of posts detailing the incident. However, having received a deluge of tweets mocking his response to the situation, with many expressing incredulity that he couldn’t know about racism in Britain and others criticising him for making it all about himself, 23 year old Smith posted a message via Instagram later the same evening to clear up what he meant.

Sam SmithSam Smith at the 'Spectre' premiere in October 2015

“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,” the message read. “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.”

The message 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.”

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Having been out with his friend the night before, Smith tweeted his initial shock at the verbal abuse he witnessed: “Just experienced my friend getting verbally abused racially in London. I am absolutely SPEECHLESS. 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,” he wrote, detailing the lack of help the authorities were available to offer. “The police were so unhelpful in the situation and its deeply shocked me.”

This drew a varied reaction from many Twitter users, however, who questioned Smith’s motivations for writing the tweets. “Sam Smith got Negro spirituals in the background of his songs but just discovered racism existed last night. Ok,” one wrote, while another said “Sam Smith witnessed his friend experience racism and now he wants to "shine light" on something about as known as cars having four wheels.”

He was even criticised for making the situation all about himself, with somebody writing: “It's funny how they've made this situation all about Sam Smith... *sighs*”

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