The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation has criticised the Chairman of the Board of World Wrestling Entertainment for using the word ‘gay’ as an insult during a broadcast.

A recent episode of WWE/RAW on the USA Network included a birthday celebration for Vince McMahon featuring Cirque du Soleil performers.

As the performers bounced into the wrestling ring on springboard-type stilts, Mr McMahon said: “Those masks are really gay” and  “just what every man wants on his birthday.”

GLAAD said that as the leader of a well-known organisation he should know better.

“The WWE’s website states, “WWE is committed to family-friendly, PG content across all of its platforms including television programming, pay-per-view, digital media and publishing.”

“However, off-handedly using “gay” in a derogatory manner is anything but family-friendly,” according to the GLAAD blog.

“WWE programming reaches 16 million viewers each week.

“McMahon needs to understand that the words he uses and how he uses them can greatly affect people’s lives.”

GLAAD said they are “reaching out” to Mr McMahon and the USA Network.