Bob Geldof sparks furious backlash after repeatedly misgendering Sam Smith on This Morning

Bob Geldof called out for repeatedly misgendering Sam Smith.

This Morning viewers have called out presenters Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby for not correcting Sir Bob Geldof after he misgendered Sam Smith.

“Unholy” singer Smith came out as non-binary in 2019 and has used they/them pronouns since then.

However, when Geldof appeared on the ITV show on 22 February, he used he/him pronouns while recalling their time working together on Band Aid’s 2014 “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” remake.

During the segment, Geldof remembered: “Sam Smith, I remember him at the microphone, had his eyes closed, and he was singing away to the song, and I said, ‘Sam, they’re not the words.’ He goes, ‘Ah yeah, sorry’.

“We had rewritten the words for the Ebola crisis in west Africa.

“And he says ‘sorry’, so off he goes, he closes his eyes again and he starts singing the original words. I said ‘Sam’, and he goes: ‘Oh yes, sorry, every year in school I [had] to sing this song.'”

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The error was not addressed during the show, with neither Schofield nor Willoughby attempting to correct the former Boomtown Rats frontman. ITV has still not released a statement.

“Not Bob Geldof repeatedly misgendering Sam Smith on live telly and the evil Holly and Phil not correcting him…” one person pointed out.

Commenters have tried to justify the error by saying Smith was not publically out as non-binary in 2014, with one writing: “Probably was he/him when working with Bob. It’s not like he’s doing it maliciously.”

However, this isn’t the first time misgendering mistakes have been made live on air at ITV.

Last month, Good Morning Britain‘s Richard Madeley had to apologise after misgendering Smith while discussing their new music video “I’m Not Here To Make Friends”.

Phil and Holly do not step in to correct Sir Bob Geldof. (ITV)
Phil and Holly did not step in to correct Sir Bob Geldof. (ITV)

“Men film from behind, gyrating while wearing leather trousers with the bottom cut out in a heart shape, a shot of him… Sam,” Madeley said.

Unlike Schofield and Willoughby’s inaction, Madeley’s co-host Susanna Reid stepped in to remind him: “They… remember Sam Smith uses the pronouns ‘they’,” to which he responded: “They, yes, sorry.”

Madeley was called out once more when he misgendered guest Shivani Dave. He apologised again, saying: “I’m so sorry, I will learn to do that.”

And Smith themself has had to reclaim their pronouns on BBC1, after being called a fisherman on The One Show when discussing their fishing hobby.

“I do love fishing, yes! Yeah, I’d love to be a fisher-them, I’d be any type of fisher-them,” they said with a cheeky smile. The newly-coined term sparked outrage among the usual suspects.

“Sam Smith needs to shut up,” Piers Morgan complained.

Even fellow celebrities such as Shawn Mendes have had to apologise for misgendering Smith, saying at the time: ““It absolutely slipped my mind. Won’t happen again.”

Smith has offered a forgiving approach when mistakes are made, saying in an Apple Music interview: “The pronoun thing is interesting because mistakes happen. Even me, I make mistakes quite a lot, and it’s an uncomfortable feeling, making a mistake.

“I think it’s really good for people to see you mess up… then correct yourself. Because that’s what we’ve got to get used to, because changes in language, they take time to change.

“If I lived a life where I was just getting upset every time someone used the wrong pronoun, I would be very sad. I’m done with being sad.”

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