US TV channel Fox News has been criticised after it played Aerosmith's song Dude Looks Like A Lady over a segment about Chelsea Manning.

The soldier, who formerly went by the name Bradley, revealed her desire to live life as a woman and be referred to as Chelsea following his 35 year sentence for leaking thousands of classified material to the website WikiLeaks.

In a letter to NBC's Today programme, Manning said: "As I transition into this next phase of my life, I want everyone to know the real me. I am Chelsea Manning. I am female.

"Given the way that I feel, and have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible. I hope that you will support me in this transition."

Manning also requested that people refer to her using the feminine pronoun. However, Fox News made a firm stance in how they believe the former US soldier should be referenced by playing the 1987 song Dude Looks Like a Lady over a split picture of Manning as the Fox and Friends segment went to commercial break.

Fox News host Gregg Jarrett has been previously forced to defend his decision to continue to refer to the 25-year-old as a man arguing, "I don't do what Bradley Manning wants me to do".

The Rupert Murdoch-owned news channel has been criticised before for its inaccurate descriptions of transgendered people. In June, Fox News Radio reporter Todd Starnes referred to a transgender woman as a "burly man wearing a dress". The channel also used a picture from the movie Mrs Doubtfire for a story about transgender healthcare.

Fellow US news network CNN has also said it won't be referring to Manning as a woman as she has "not yet taken any steps toward gender transition through surgery or hormone replacement therapy".

However, the Associated Press confirmed they "will henceforth use Pvt. Chelsea E Manning and female pronouns for the soldier formerly known as Bradley Manning, in accordance with her wishes to live as a woman".

Trans Media Watch, a charity dedicated to improving media coverage of transgender and intersex people, have condemned Fox News for what they see as mocking Manning.

A spokesperson said: "It is now widely understood that most trans people have consistent gender identities from early in their lives. Chelsea has said clearly that she has felt female since childhood. She is no less entitled to respect for that identity because it doesn't match her appearance.

"She is no less entitled to respect for her chosen name than George Osborne or Jodie Foster. In the 21st Century, we expect the media to know better than to dismiss somebody's identity just because they are trans."