The openly gay Bravo TV executive Andy Cohen raised eyebrows while being interviewed on NBC’s Today by labeling the pop group One Direction as “twinks”.

In his interview Mr Cohen said: “This morning, I went into the normal green room that we typically go into. I barged in, there are all these people in front of us. Oh, it’s all the leftover One Direction fans. I barged right into a room of twinks: One Direction! Security was not exactly too tight, with all due respect. I barged right in. It was crazy!”

Minutes earlier, Mr Cohen tweeted “No joke just walked right into One Direction greenroom!! The blond dude was
shirtless #HolyTwink.”

US publication the Examiner described the words ‘twinks’ as “gay slang for young, boyish-looking gay men, usually between the ages of 16 to 24, who are used as sex objects by older gay men. Because of the meaning behind the word, many young gay men find it offensive to be called a ‘twink’ .

Writing for the publication, Carla Hay argued: “calling One Direction “twinks” — a word that is sexually derogatory to many young gay men — might shock or offend a lot of people, even by the most liberal of standards.” It’s not clear how many people called a ‘twink’ actually object to its use.

Cohen later apologised for the use of the word tweeting “misused word earlier — I just meant they’re cute. #1D.”

One Direction stars Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, Zayn Malik, and Louis Tomlinson were in the United States on a promotional tour.