What did Robert De Niro say about Donald Trump in his “censored” Gotham Awards speech?
The 33rd edition of the awards saw a clearly frustrated De Niro react after his initial script had been removed, but he wasn’t letting it go.
It was a night to celebrate some of the best contributions to the world of cinema and television at the 2023 Gotham Awards, but there was a moment of controversy as Hollywood legend Robert de Niro turned up the heat on Donald Trump and others, who he said are peddling mistruths as facts. And there was another layer of intrigue, pointed out by the 80-year-old actor and director, with this key part of his planned speech being cut out from the teleprompter before he took to the stage. Like that was going to hold him back.
Here’s some of what De Niro had to say as he returned to the mic with his handwritten notes, and you can also watch it for yourself.
De Niro slams Trump in “censored” speech
“I just want to say one thing,” he began. “The beginning of my speech was edited, cut out, and I didn’t know about it. And I want to read it.
“History isn’t history anymore,” he went on. “Truth is not truth. Even facts are being replaced by alternative facts, and driven by conspiracy theories and ugliness.
“In Florida, young students are taught that slaves developed skills that could be applied for their personal benefit. The entertainment industry isn’t immune to this festering disease. The Duke, John Wayne, famously said of Native Americans, ‘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.’
“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. Filmmakers, on the other hand, strive... this is where I came in and I saw that they edited all that.” He was clearly not happy and made that point to organisers Apple.
De Niro on Apple “How dare they do that”
“So I’m going to say these things but to Apple and thank them all that. Gotham, blah blah blah, but I don’t feel like thanking them at all for what they did. How dare they do that, actually. But now I will go to: accepting the award for ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’…”
No doubt there will be responses from those targeted.