US university professor says 'OK, Boomer' phrase the same as calling someone the 'n-word'

A professor from the University of Oklahoma has sparked outrage after comparing the famous "OK, Boomer" phrase to the "n-word".

Speaking at a lecture on Tuesday (local time), journalism teacher Peter Gade questioned a student who said journalists have to continue keeping up with the younger generations, university newspaper OU Daily reports. 

He proceeded to say the student's comment was no different to going up to him and saying "OK, Boomer".

"Calling someone a boomer is like calling someone a n****r," Gade said, as reported by The Daily citing some students at the lecture.

Gade has since apologised for his comments.

"I realise the word was hurtful and infuses the racial divisions of our country, past and present," he said in an email to students, according to OU Daily.

"Use of the word is inappropriate in any - especially educational - settings.

"I offer my deepest and most sincere apologies."

Gade's comment shocked students - some of whom left the class. College dean Ed Kelley said Gade may have been using the rhetoric as an "educational tool".

"We are going to reach out today [Tuesday local time] and try to talk to the African American students who are in the class," Kelley said, as reported by The Daily.

"We're trying to work through this as best we know-how, and I think the best process that we know has to be as open and aboveboard as we can be and, listening to students."

Gade's comments sparked outrage with students taking to social media to condemn him.

"My f**king professor just had the NERVE to say OUTLOUD IN CLASS that calling someone a BOOMER is like calling a black person A N****R," one student said on Twitter.

"Although he was not talking directly to me or my other two colleagues who are also black, I am still deeply offended. That is UNACCEPTABLE and should never be said in ANY setting. I cannot believe this.

"Yes the word 'BOOMER' can be offensive, but it however is NOT a racial slur. They are nowhere near equal."

Last year, New Zealand Green Party MP Swarbrick replied to an opposition politician "OK, Boomer" in parliament after he challenged her claim the average age of House members was 49-years-old.

Video of the exchange immediately went viral and the phrase, in recent times, has been widely used throughout the world.