The news anchor made an appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres Show this week to speak out against gay bullying and took aim at Vaughn's upcoming movie The Dilemma, in which Vaughn's character proclaims,"Ladies and gentleman, electric cars are gay."
Cooper said he became upset while watching previews at a movie theater over the weekend, telling DeGeneres he was "shocked" to hear the word being tossed around like that in a movie trailer.
He doesn't mention the specific movie, or Vaughn by name, but it's clear he is talking about the rapid-fire funnyman, whose rep declined to comment.
"There was a preview of a movie, and in it, the actor said, 'That's so gay,' and I was shocked that not only that they put it in the movie, but that they put that in the preview. They thought that it was OK to put that in a preview for the movie to get people to go and see it," said Cooper.
"I just find those words, those terms, we've got to do something to make those words unacceptable cause those words are hurting kids," Cooper continued. "Someone else I talked to recently said that the words people use and the things people say about other kids online, it enters into their internal dialogue. And when you're a kid, it can change the way you see yourself and the way you think about yourself, and the worth that you give to yourself. I think we need to really focus on what language we're using and how we're treating these kids."
Cooper told the openly gay DeGeneres about his childhood, saying he wasn't really bullied, but was a witness to a lot of "name calling for perceived differences" and that he suffered from a slight stutter and lived in fear he'd be picked on.
"It's incredible when you realize how commonly the term 'that's so gay' is among kids today," Cooper said. "It's used not just against kids that are gay or lesbian, it's used as an insult to anybody in this day and age among kids and that's something that has to stop."