A recent opinion poll has found that 54% of Americans found the use of the word ‘faggot’ by TV actor Isaiah Washington offensive.

18% said the were very offended in the survey by Harris Interactive. 66% of LGBT adults who took part in the poll said they were offended.

Other questions about the use of racial slurs by comedian Michael Richards (Kramer from Seinfeld) found that nearly 70% of Americans found his use of the word ‘nigger’ offensive.

Mr Washington was dropped from hit US show Grey’s Anatomy after referred to a co-star a faggot.

In statement Washington, who plays Dr Preston Burke, said: “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.”

Those words are a quote from the 1976 film Network, but Washington did not elaborate further.

Washington, 43, was involved in a fight with his co-star Patrick Dempsey last year after he used a derogatory term about their co-star, T R Knight.

Washington has since received counselling and met with civil rights groups to discuss ways to address homophobia.

He apologised for his actions in October last year, and said: “I sincerely regret my actions and the unfortunate use of words during the recent incident on set.”

The poll results come as gay activists in the UK continue to accuse Channel 4 of double standards over offensive language.

A contestant on reality show Big Brother who used the word ‘nigger’ was kicked out of the house, whereas another who used the word ‘poof’ was only reprimanded.