Naya Rivera has been accused of promoting negative stereotypes of ethnic groups after claiming that showering everyday was "a white people thing".

The Glee actress, who is of Puerto Rican, African American and German descent, made the controversial statement during an appearance on The View when quizzed about personal hygiene.

After Nicolle Wallace - a white presenter - revealed that she sometimes baths three times a day, Rivera responded by declaring that she believes "white people shower a lot more than ethnics."

To drive home her point, the 28-year-old star added: "I feel like showering more than once a day or every day is such a white people thing."

When her comments provoked gasps of shock from offended audience members, a defiant Riveria attempted to support her theory with anecdotal evidence.

"My mom is half black, half Puerto Rican. She showers every day so I can say this," Rivera continued.

"But I'm now married to a white man. And he showers a lot, like two, three times a day," she said of recent spouse Ryan Dorsey.

"So the study says, a dermatologist says you are only supposed to shower once or twice every three days, so I'm right on the mark," she added.

Although co-host Rosie O'Donnell attempted to diffuse the situation by pointing out a black audience member who was offended, it didn't stop the outrage over the baffling theory spilling over onto social media.

While some people may have felt obliged to apologise in the wake of the backlash, Rivera encouraged outraged fans to find a sense of humour instead.

But upon her return to the show, it appears that Big Sean's ex had had a change of heart.

"It was supposed to be a joke. I apologise if anyone was offended," she said. " However, I'm very excited that it sparked a big conversation about how many times you should shower."