Actor Robert De Niro used the opportunity of the Tony Award ceremony to fling insults at the US president. Two expletives earned him a standing ovation and a shower of admiration from the liberal crowd.
De Niro, a respected Oscar-winning actor, opened his introduction of rocker Bruce Springsteen with a brief quip: “I’m gonna to say one thing. F*ck Trump. It’s no longer ‘down with Trump,’ it’s f*ck Trump.” He then immediately switched to the matters at hand and went on with introducing Springsteen. Most of that was bleeped out by CBS, who broadcast the ceremony to a 6-million-strong American audience.
The brief, almost token, insult provoked a disproportionately strong reaction from the audience at New York’s Radio City Music Hall. The crowd sprang to their feet in a standing ovation and a wave of cheers.
De Niro is a well-known opponent of Trump and has launched verbal attacks against him on multiple occasions. The Tony Awards crowd proved a perfectly suitable liberal environment for a fresh statement, featuring for example, the outspoken anti-Trump survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida.
Online, left-wing sentiment echoed the admiration, De Niro’s off-hand comment earned him the titles of ‘genius’ and ‘national treasure.’ Others assumed the glittering Broadway crowd was the perfect representation of the entire American population.
Robert DeNiro is a national treasure. At the same time, we all know what Barack Obama would say. “Don’t say ‘fuck Trump,’ vote.”
— Adam Best (@adamcbest) June 11, 2018
The genius of Robert De Niro’s Trump critique tonight is that it will crowd out a share of the North Korea summit propaganda tomorrow — a day before the talks. #TonyAwards
— Kaivan Shroff (@KaivanShroff) June 11, 2018
Robert De Niro introduced Bruce Springsteen’s #TonyAwards performance w/ words that echoed the sentiment of the overwhelming majority of Americans:
“I just want to say one thing — f*ck Trump! It’s no longer down with Trump. It’s f*ck Trump!”
And he received a standing ovation.
— Bill Madden (@activist360) June 11, 2018
The fact that DeNiro said f*ck Trump! really isn’t the astounding news – the news was the standing ovation that was almost unanimous and was thunderous. This is one f*cking, angry, pissed off nation.
— Beth (@BethFromChiTown) June 11, 2018
Trump’s supporters, on the other hand, were predictably annoyed.
Robert DeNiro decides to make a giant spectacle and fool of himself on the eve President Trump lands in Singapore for Historic Nuclear meetings w/ Kim.
MEANWHILE, not a single word about his best friend the lifelong serial rapist. These people need therapy.
— USA NEWS (@USANEWS007) June 11, 2018
And the more level-headed commenters pointed out the ultimate hollowness of De Niro’s habitual statement.
De Niro cursing at Trump during Tonys makes Bill Maher’s point from this past Friday’s show about hollow liberal victories. “This country is in quite a pickle, conservatives govern without shame and liberals shame without governing.”
— Joe Flint (@JBFlint) June 11, 2018