Robert De Niro has always been vocal about issues related to public interests and has never shied away from expressing his political views. On Monday night, the actor took the stage at the 2023 Gotham Awards in New York City to introduce the historical icon and creator tribute award for Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon, in which he also features in a pivotal role along with Leonardo DiCaprio and Lily Gladstone.
While he was presenting the award, De Niro realized that his comments had been edited, and anti-Trump remarks were removed without notice. After a video featuring Martin Scorsese and Osage chief Geoffrey Standing Bear discussing the film played, the actor made it to a point to mention that his speech was cut short and went on to read the original speech that he had prepared to deliver, which featured political comments, including ones about former US President Donald Trump.
Not wasting much time, Robert De Niro began reading his original speech off of his phone and went on to slam Trump for lying 30,000 times during his time in office and how the former president used Pocahontas as a slur. He also blasted Apple and Gotham for censoring his speech, adding that he doesn’t want to thank them but will do the honor of accepting the award.
“I just want to say one thing: the beginning of my speech was edited and cut out, and I didn’t know about it. And I want to read it,” said the actor, adding, “History isn’t history anymore. Truth is not truth. Even facts are being replaced by alternative facts and driven by conspiracy theories and ugliness.”
Extending his critique to the entertainment industry, the Irishman actor, quoting John Wayne’s views on Native Americans, said, “I don’t feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them. There were great numbers of people who needed new land, and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves.”
Launching a staunch attack on Trump, De Niro highlighted how lying has become just another tool in the charlatan’s arsenal and added, “With all of his lies, he can’t hide his soul. He attacks the weak, destroys the gifts of nature, and shows his disrespect, for example, by using Pocahontas as a slur.”
Summing up his speech, the actor added, “Gotham, blah blah blah, but I don’t feel like thanking them at all for what they did. How dare they do that? But now I will accept the award.”
Notably, this is not the first time Robert De Niro has attacked Donald Trump. During the Tony Awards 2018, the veteran actor famously shouted, “F*ck Trump,” receiving a standing ovation from an applauding audience. In 2016, De Niro called the former US president “totally nuts,” releasing a video during the election campaign expressing his desire to punch him in the face.
Meanwhile, the Gotham Awards 2023, celebrating the best of cinematic narratives and groundbreaking performances, saw Celine Song’s ‘Past Lives’ and Ali Wong’s ‘Beef’ win top honors.
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