Ron Howard, the director of The Dilemma, says a joke about ‘gay’ cars will stay in the film.

The film was criticised by GLAAD and CNN news anhor Anderson Cooper for a scene in which Vince Vaughn’s character makes a joke about electric cars being gay.

Howard told the Los Angeles Times: “The Dilemma is a comedy for grown-ups, not kids.

“It is a slight moment in The Dilemma meant to demonstrate an aspect of our lead character’s personality, and we never expected it to represent our intentions or the point of view of the movie or those of us who made it.”

Universal Pictures cut a trailer for the film after gay rights activists complained about the joke.

In the trailer, Vaughn is seen telling a boardroom: “Electric cars are gay. Not homosexual gay, but my-parents-are-chaperoning-the-dance gay.”

The actor said that he supports efforts against bullying but comedy should not be subject to “dividing lines”.