Piers Morgan has been slammed as a "dinosaur" after he singled out and linked Sam Smith to reported plans to change categorisation for the BRIT Awards.
The 54-year-old Good Morning Britain host took aim at Oscar-winning hitmaker Sam, suggesting they are responsible for the "nonsense" claimed in the Sunday Times that could see male and female classification for the music gongs axed.
Meanwhile, organisers have confirmed to the BBC that the current gendered system will continue next year.
"We can 100% confirm that there will be male and female awards in the UK and international categories in February 2020," a spokesperson is reported to have said.
The Times’ report came a week after Sam, 27, formally announced they wish to be referred to as "they" rather than "he".
Taking to Instagram, Sam explained: "I've decided I am changing my pronouns to THEY/THEM ... after a lifetime of being at war with my gender I’ve decided to embrace myself for who I am, inside and out.”
Piers Morgan is such a dinosaur.
Piers, however, decided to ignore this request as he worked himself up into a rant earlier today, continuing to refer to Sam as 'he' as he blamed him for the claimed change.
The ex newspaper editor spluttered sarcastically: "I think it's just great that time-honoured traditions should be scrapped because one guy can't decide if he is male or female.
"So they are saying they want to accommodate non-binary performers like Sam Smith. Now he'll enter the non-binary categories.
"The whole point of having gender categories is to make it fair, to make it equal. Now we are going to go the other way."
Piers banged on with his unsubstantiated claims: "Well I think it is a load of nonsense.
"The idea you have to change entire award categories for one guy, it's nonsense.
"If you want to do that Sam Smith, that's your dime. Don't change everything else for you because that ain't the way it should play."
Accusing the broadcaster of "bigotry", one furious social media user tweeted: "Oh so NOW Piers Morgan is trying to act all feminist?
"He really called Sam Smith 'a guy who can’t decide if he’s male or female' on live TV and it was just ALLOWED to be broadcasted? All whilst misgendering them multiple times?"
Another said: "Piers Morgan is such a dinosaur & needs to wake up smell the coffee."
And a third demanded: "Piers Morgan should learn what non-binary means and have some respect."
However, some viewers agreed with Piers' position - and also brought up Sam.
One pondered on Twitter: "So let's say Sam Smith won the award for 'best male' would he refuse to accept the award because the category title wasn't 'best non-binary'?"
"Totally agree with @piersmorgan on this one!" said another person.
And yet another person, making use of a deeply-unpleasant slur, remarked about Sam: "Why the hell do they take notice of a [bleep]?"
Despite Piers’ fury, the reported proposals are not the first time gender-specific awards have been phased out.
The National Television Awards changed its best actor and actress categories to best drama performance and best serial drama performance in 2008.
And both the Grammys and the MTV Movie Awards also went gender neutral in 2012 and 2017 respectively.
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