Actor James Franco has labelled gossip website Gawker homophobic, over an article that claims he is in a relationship with a man.

A Gawker article published yesterday questioned the friendship between Franco and Scott Haze, who had a role in Franco’s recent film Child of God.

It reads: “Another role Haze appears to be playing: Franco’s live-in boyfriend.

“Theirs is the kind of relationship—somewhat ambiguous, seemingly gay, probably romantic—that almost always sends The New York Times into a bizarre moral panic.”

Dismissing the article in a post, the Spider-Man star wrote: “GAWKER – always getting the cutting edge, homophobic scoop!!!

“Go see CHILD OF GOD in theatres and see me direct my live-in boyfriend, SCOTT HAZE!!! Love you SCOTT!!!!”

The actor is familiar to courting controversy, responding to rumours in the press about him last year by posting a series of fake paparazzi photographs in which he is kissing and holding hands with another man.

He also claimed last year: “I don’t even care if people think I’m gay… I mean, I wish I was gay – part of it is that movies are a place where people can project things and identify with characters, and it’s the same thing with actors outside of their roles. And it’s been that way since Hollywood was around.”