Robert De Niro blasted President Donald Trump in a speech earlier this week.
Don’t stop the presses.
The Oscar-winning actor can’t stop talking about Trump. He does it on public stages, during talk show interviews and via award galas.
Trump, Trump Trump.
He’s hardly alone in Hollywood, but at this point we all know precisely how he feels about the nation’s 45th president.
It’s the ultimate “dog bites man” story at the end of 2023.
The co-star of “Killers of the Flower Moon” still tried to bring up Trump during an awards season gala tied to his latest Martin Scorsese project. The legendary director’s “Moon” is in serious contention for major awards, including a possible Best Picture Oscar.
De Niro snagged a speaking gig at Monday’s Gotham Awards, one of the first major events of the annual Oscar season. The gala ostensibly honors independent films, but this year the gala removed the $35 million budgetary cap allowing mainstream fair like “Moon,” “Barbie” and “Air” to compete for top honors.
The big story, though, belonged to De Niro.
The actor prepared a speech including several digs at you-know-who, but the company behind “Moon” edited the barbs out.
That’s Apple, by the way. The mega company forked over $200 million to produce the film and it hoped De Niro would keep the focus on “Moon,” not the actor’s grievances.
No such luck. And no one bothered to tell the “Goodfellas” icon about the switch.
De Niro, noticing the anti-Trump comments got edited out of the teleprompter, clumsily inserted them back in. He had a copy of the original speech on his phone, so he whipped it out and read it from there.
“Lying has become just another tool in the charlatan’s arsenal … the former president lied to us more than 30,000 times during his four years in office. And he’s keeping up the pace in his current campaign of retribution. But with all his lies, he can’t hide his soul. He attacks the weak, destroys the gifts of nature and shows disrespect, for example, by using ‘Pocahontas’ as a slur.”
The latter is a reference to Sen. Elizabeth Warren lying about her alleged Native American heritage for decades. Trump dubbed her “Pocahontas” to mock her serial lies, although most conservatives prefer the “Fauxcahontas” insult.
Trump has said many cruel things in his political career, but that particular swipe is richly deserved.
De Niro ended the speech like a petulant child.
“I don’t feel like thanking [Apple or Gotham] at all for what they did,” he said. “How dare they do that, actually.”
Awards season is meant to honor the artists behind some of the year’s best films. It’s a tribute to storytelling and the motion picture arts.
De Niro wanted his podium time to attack a politician. Team Apple, according to Variety, hoped he would do the right thing and keep the focus on what could be one of Scorsese’s last directorial efforts.
Instead, the actor made the moment about himself. It’s the kind of egomaniacal stunt a certain ex-president might admire.
It’s also worth noting that De Niro, like virtually the entire Hollywood industry, has been whisper-silent on the rise of censorship across western culture.
Suddenly, when the actor’s words undergo a nip and tuck, he’s mad as hell and he’s not gonna take it anymore.