James Woods has defended a homophobic tweet about a boy who wears make-up and dresses.
Woods, a former Hollywood star who appeared in classic films including Once Upon a Time in America and Videodrome, shocked fans with a tweet earlier this week.
The actor, a strong supporter of Donald Trump, shared a photo of a boy wearing make-up and attacked his parents for letting him do so.
He wrote: “This is sweet. Wait until this poor kid grows up, realises what you’ve done, and stuffs both of you dismembered into a freezer in the garage.”
The comments were slammed by How I Met Your Mother star Neil Patrick Harris, who happens to be a friend of the couple in the photo.
But in further tweets, Woods defended himself, hitting out at “vile” suggestions he is homophobic, but comparing the child’s parents to child abusers.
He wrote: “Using one’s child as a social justice propaganda doll is tantamount to child abuse. This is not about homophobia. Nice try though.
“For the record I have supported human rights of all stripes and persuasions, colors, creeds, choices and preferences my entire life. Period.
“Some children can be ruthlessly cruel to children who are simply different in any way. I humbly suggest making your child a target is unwise.
“I spent my entire adult life in the New York theatre scene, kids. I have more gay friends than Liberace. So let’s stop the homophobia train.”
He tweeted: “Utterly ignorant and classless, Mr. Woods. I’m friends with this family. You know not of what you speak, and should be ashamed of yourself.”
Harris, who has two children with his husband, is a strong defender of LGBT equality.
His rebuttal to Woods received thousands of likes.
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The original photo featured the boy with his smiling, proud parents, holding signs saying: “I love my gender creative son” and “My son wears dresses and makeup, get over it.”
Earlier this year, the Trump-supporting actor made a homophobic comment about gay broadcaster Anderson Cooper.
Woods tweeted a photo of Cooper making a funny face, captioning it: “His butt plug dislodges during a newscast”.
Back in 2015, Woods appeared in a PSA on LGBT youth homelessness for the LA LGBT Center.
In it, he claimed: “We’ve got you,” along with stars like Elton John and Jamie Foxx.
Harris, who was the first openly gay man to host the Academy Awards in 2015, played the title character on Doogie Howser in the early 1990s, and more recently starred in the sitcom How I Met Your Mother and the thriller Gone Girl.
He married his partner David Burtka, an actor and a professional chef, in 2014, after more than a decade together.
Harris recently starred as evil villain Count Olaf in the Netflix TV series A Series of Unfortunate Events.
The 43-year-old actor looked different from his usually-pretty self in the series, buried under prosthetics and a large stage wig.