British X Factor winner James Arthur has apologized for using an anti-gay slur on Twitter earlier in the week.
Arthur, who won the singing reality show last year, caused outrage after he attacked rapper Mike Worthless on the social network, calling him 'a fucking queer.'
Worthless, a relatively unknown rapper, started the feud by recording a rap criticizing Arthur's decision to enter The X Factor, claiming he performed oral sex on Simon Cowell and Louis Walsh and called him a 'faggot'.
Arthur, who has over two million followers, responded with a rap of his own also laden with homophobic language, saying: 'You probably want to stick your dick in me, you fucking queer.'
Arthur's response caused controversy over Twitter, and was criticized by famous faces including Coronation Street Beverley Callard and Little Britain star Matt Lucas.
Arthur initially defended his choice of language, saying the term 'queer' meant something 'completely different' in a rap context.
He also mentioned he has many gay friends, including fellow X Factor contestant Rylan Clarke.
However, Arthur eventually apologized for his use of language. He later tweeted: 'I just have to say I'm extremely disappointed in myself for being so naive with the diss track I made for an unknown rapper recently.
'Some of the things said in this rap can be mistaken for homophobic slurs and I assure you homophobia is something I do not believe in... Deeply deeply sorry to any gay or lesbian people out there.'
Arthur also directly apologized to Lucas, saying: 'I am so sorry I offended you sir. I will be removing this song from the internet shortly. I'm a huge admirer of your career.'
Lucas responded: 'Thanks, James. I look forward to your new stuff. Respect to you for responding and taking it down. Lets move on.'
Arthur has since decided to 'quit' Twitter following the fallout of his anti-gay rap, as well as another feud he has developed – this time with comedian Frankie Boyle.
Boyle ironically criticized Jame's homophobic language with a transphobic jab, saying: 'Well you look like a post-op Miley Cyrus, so why not get on it? Oh, that's right, because of your rampant homophobia.'