Precious star Gabourey Sidibe has apologised for using a transphobic slur on a late night US talk show.

The film star used the word “tranny” five times on the Arsenio Hall Show last month, while joking about police arresting trans people in New Orleans.

She has tweeted that she is “very sorry”, and that she “didn’t realise” it was a slur:

Mara Keisling, Executive Director of the National Centre for Transgender Equality, told The Huffington Post: “Using the word ‘tranny’ isn’t OK anymore. Using it to make fun of people is definitely not OK. And using it to make fun of any kind of violence is just plain wrong. I know she meant it in fun but that’s the problem in this case.”

Jean-Marie Navetta of PFLAG National also told Huffington Post: “I will always give people the benefit of the doubt and assume that they weren’t thinking and just need some education. We all deserve that chance. We all need the right to redeem ourselves. I hope this is a learning experience.”

The star, who most recently appeared in American Horror Story, had said: “There was a bar that we would frequent and every time we’d go, when we were leaving every single time there was always like a gang of cops arresting trannies. Specifically trannies. And I don’t know what goes on with trannies but that tranny on tranny crime needs to stop! It is tearing our nation apart!”

Ms Sidibe’s original comments are still online below: