VIDEO: Eminem comes out as gay in The Interview

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Eminem has a cameo in the controversial comedy The Interview where he jokes of being gay.

The 42-year-old rapper makes a surprise appearance in the opening scenes of the film starring James Franco and Seth Rogen, as a guest on Franco’s character Dave Skylark’s late-night chat show, Skylark Tonight.

Playing himself, the rapper – real name Marshall Mathers – casually mentions he’s gay while explaining the lyrical content of his songs.

“When I say things about gay people, or people think my lyrics are homophobic – it’s because I’m gay,” Eminem said.

Seth Rogen, who is playing the show’s producer, tells Franco to ask Eminem to clarify his statement.

“People probably are shocked by what you’re saying,” Franco said.

“I’m more shocked with people haven’t figured it out now. I mean, it’s kind of like I’ve been playing gay peek-a-boo,” said Eminem.

Sony Pictures had originally pulled the film, about a fictional plot to kill North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, after a cyber attack and threats to moviegoers

But it reconsidered after critics – including US President Barack Obama – said freedom of expression was under threat.

Eminem has often been criticised for using anti-gay lyrics in his songs.