Brooklyn Nine-Nine star Terry Crews is under fire for saying children of same-sex couples or single parents are "severely malnourished".

Crews was initially responding to a New York Times op-ed criticising Barack Obama's treatment of young black men. The actor said he was bothered that a woman had written the piece: "You can speak with us— just not FOR US. There is a big difference."

After being accused of misogyny, Crews said: "No misogyny involved. Just reminding you that fathers are just as necessary as mothers. Especially for young men. And even if he doesn't have a father around— they need to see an example of what a good man is."

Then, in a since-deleted follow up tweet, Crews said he believed children needed both "paternal and maternal" love, and said that children being raised by one gender "will be severely malnourished".

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Crews was slammed for the tweets, with one user saying: "your tweet about how kids need both maternal and paternal love was actually f****** offensive. one of my close friends has two mothers and she is doing just fine! please learn how to express your points better."

Crews held strong on his point, saying: "I explained it just like I meant to. You need both."

Later, he apologised for the controversial tweet in question, calling it the "wrong choice of words".

In 2017, Crews became a key male figure early in the #MeToo movement after publicly revealing he had been assaulted by another man.