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As reported over the weekend, a controversial "gay" joke will remain in The Dilemma when it hits theaters Jan. 14 -- and star Vince Vaughn thinks that's the right thing to do.

In the talked-about scene, which was excised from the trailer after a public outcry, Vaughn, 40, quips, "electric cars...are gay."

"I'm glad to hear it's staying the movie," Vaughn said in a Wednesday radio interview for The Bert Show.

The star claimed that the quip "wasn't a derogatory term...We clarified within the joke [that it was] not 'homosexual-gay' but, you know, your parents are chaperoning a dance."

The actor said that awkward conversations are "the point" of doing comedy. "We're not trying to hurt anyone's feelings," he insisted. "If there's tensions there, ultimately, it brings us together, it makes us more comfortable."

He added that his brand of comedy doesn't have "any maliciousness" and has "never been at anyone's expense."

But Vaughn understands why Universal pulled the scene from the trailer last month -- when headlines were dominated by tragic stories of gay teen suicides.

"With all the things that were happening at the time, Universal was trying to be respectful of the climate," he said.

Director Ron Howard explained his decision to keep the joke in an LA Times blog last Friday.

"[Vaughn's character] has a mouth that sometimes gets him into trouble and he definitely flirts with the line of what's okay to say. He tries to do what's right but sometimes falls short. Who can't relate to that?" Howard wrote. ""We never expected [the joke] to represent our intentions or the point of view of the movie or those of us who made it."