Sir Ian McKellan, John Key

Jason Kempi, Phil Walter/Getty Images

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key is, once again, making headlines.

On the same day the politician denied allegations that he called David Beckham "thick as bats--t" during a recent trip to Australia, the New Zealand leader was criticized by Sir Ian McKellen for casually referring to a radio host's shirt as "gay" while being interviewed last week.

Key later defended himself, insisting he was simply using the word to mean "weird" and nothing more.

The Lord of the Rings star, however, was upset by it nevertheless.

In a post on his website, the actor wrote that "Mr. Key should watch his language. I'm currently touring secondary schools in UK, attacking homophobia in the playground and discouraging kids from the careless use of 'gay' which might make their gay friends (and teachers) feel less about themselves."

McKellen concluded by saying that "even as [Key] supports the proposal to introduce same-gender marriages in New Zealand, I do hope John Key listens to his critics and appreciates their concern. Careless talk damages lives."

Here's hoping Key gets Gandalf, er, McKellen's message.

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