Prime Minister John Key says "gay" just means "weird" and he
had no intention of offending anyone when he used it on a
radio show last week.
Mr Key is under fire for using the word "gay" to rib a radio
host last Friday, the same day he levelled an internationally
reported insult at footballer David Beckham.
Mr Key jokingly criticised a red top worn by presenter Jamie
Mackay in an interview on The Farming Show.
"What you're wearing is an absolute disgrace. You parade
yourself as some sort of centre-right interested community
leader and you're in the red," he said.
Later in the segment he described Mackay's top as "gay" in an
exchange about golf.
"You're munted mate. You're never going to make it. You've
got that gay red top on."
The comments have been ridiculed on Twitter, with comedian
Guy Williams saying "John Key is quickly becoming to New
Zealand what Borat was to Kazakhstan."
Other Twitter users said the use of "gay" as an insult made
Mr Key appear homophobic.
Today Mr Key said he used the term "gay" to mean "weird".
He said he picked up the term from his children and had no
intention of seeming homophobic.
Asked at his post-Cabinet press conference whether he was
homophobic, Mr Key said: "No, I'm voting for gay marriage,
I'm hardly homophobic - I led the charge on it."
Mr Key agreed it was an unfortunate use of words but said: "a
hell of a lot of people would use it and the common use of it
is in the Oxford dictionary".
"Young people use it all the time, I don't think too many
people would be offended by it. If someone is I apologise for
it," he said.
Also during the Farming Show interview, Mr Key also took a
swipe at hip hop group Home Brew for criticising him during
their acceptance speech for best urban/hip hop album at the
New Zealand Music Awards last week.
"These people are idiots. They turned up on the red carpet
with a goat that then managed to relieve itself or whatever
on the red carpet. What idiots," he said.
Mr Key courted controversy over reports he branded David
Beckham "thick as batshit" while speaking to a group of
students at Dunedin's St Hilda's Collegiate.
He has refused to confirm or deny insulting the football
However, British media have picked up the story.
Beckham's London-based media guru Simon Oliveira - who also
oversees global campaigns for tennis ace Andy Murray and
Formula One star Lewis Hamilton - was not impressed.
"It is not worthy of comment."
- By Hayden Donnell and Kate Shuttleworth