Billy Crystal has upset gay rights groups by confessing he's put off Tv shows that feature gratuitous and graphic portrayals of gay and lesbian themes.

The funnyman, who played one of Tv's first gay characters in 1970s comedy show Soap, was asked about Lgbt dramas during a Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena, California, and his response left many journalists present stunned.

Promoting his new show The Comedians, Crystal said, "Sometimes I think, 'Ah, that's too much for me'."

Following fall-out from gay fans on social media, Crystal attempted to clarify his remarks to The Hollywood Reporter, explaining, "What I meant was that whenever sex or graphic nudity of any kind (gay or straight) is gratuitous to the plot or story, it becomes a little too much for my taste.

"Sometimes, it's just pushing it a little too far for my taste and I'm not going to reveal to you which ones (shows) they are... I hope people don't abuse it and shove it in our face… to the point where it feels like an every day kind of thing."