Sunday evening at the 72nd annual Tony Awards, awarding achievements made in the 2017-2018 season of Broadway Productions, Robert De Niro was tasked with introducing Bruce Springsteen for a performance of “My Hometown.”
What he delivered was unprecedented. Before launching into a brief speech in which he sang the praises of longtime friend Springsteen, De Niro wanted to make one thing very clear: FDT, no YG included.
“I’m just going to say one thing,” he began according to Deadline. “F-ck Trump!“ he exclaimed with a scowl on his face. “It’s no longer down with Trump, it’s F-ck Trump,” he said once more this time pumping two fists in the air.
— Variety (@Variety) June 11, 2018
As De Niro’s appearance came toward the end of the three-hour long ceremony, it served as splash of cold water in the faces of stars and attendees who were waiting on nothing more than an innocent performance from Springsteen there. While some looked on with gasps of surprise, others stood to their feet to deliver applause for De Niro’s words. Even though CBS’s techs weren’t lacking on that bleep button, audiences at home could still very clearly see just what Robert De Niro was saying.
He’s Robert De Niro. Who’s going to argue with him?” joked Angels in America playwright Tony Kushner when asked about the incident after the broadcast.
Kushner would later offer up a more serious answer on the matter adding that he agreed with De Niro, referring to Trump’s election as the “Hitler mistake.”
“This person never should have been allowed anywhere near the seat of power,” Kushner said. “And there are a lot of analogies in history, and unfortunately, they never end well. So hopefully this will end before he ends us.”