Vince Vaughn in The Dilemma

Actor Vince Vaughn is happy that a gay joke dubbed offensive by activists will stay in his new comedy film.

“I’m glad to hear it’s staying in the movie,” Vaughn said in a radio interview on Wednesday.

In the scene from the film The Dilemma the actor says, “Ladies and gentleman, electric cars are gay.” Vaughn’s character goes on to clarify that he doesn’t mean, “homosexual, gay, but, you know, my parents are chaperoning the dance, gay.”

Vaughn added in the radio interview: “It wasn’t a derogatory term… We’re not trying to hurt anyone’s feelings. If there’s tensions there, ultimately, it brings us together, it makes us more comfortable,” he said.

Director Ron Howard also defended the scene saying that the comment is true to the character who “has a mouth that sometimes gets him into trouble”.

“We never expected [the joke] to represent our intentions or the point of view of the movie or those of us who made it,” said Howard.

Activists have argued that the use of the word “gay” as a term for something that is negative adds to a culture of seeing gay people as inferior and legitimises homophobia and even anti-gay violence.

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