Awards shows rarely shy away from political comments, with winners often using their time onstage to address hot-button issues, and there was no exception at the 2018 Tony Awards on Sunday night.
Robert De Niro earned a standing ovation from the audience when he walked onstage toward the end of the Tonys and stated, “F**k Trump,” which was bleeped out of the telecast. After thrusting his fists in the air and declaring “F**k Trump” one more time, the actor introduced Bruce Springsteen onto the stage for a performance of “My Hometown.” “Bruce, you can rock the house like nobody else," said De Niro. "Even more important in these perilous times, you rock the vote. Always fighting for, in your own words, truth, transparency, integrity in government. Boy, do we need that now.”
De Niro is a frequent critic of Trump. During a charity fundraising dinner benefiting the Fulfillment Fund in March, De Niro took the opportunity to bash Trump in a speech after praising the fund’s work. “A college education is important, but education without humanity is ignorance. Look at our president. He made it through the University of Pennsylvania, so he was exposed to a quality education, but he’s still an idiot. And he lacks any sense of humanity or compassion,” he said.
The veteran actor explained his dislike of Trump again in April when acknowledging the President’s tense relationship with the press. "America's being run by a madman who wouldn't recognize the truth if it came inside a bucket of his beloved Colonel Sanders Fried Chicken. When he doesn't like what he hears, he dismisses it by saying it's un-American and damning it as 'fake news.' But we know the truth. All thinking people do know the truth. Your job is difficult enough without being attacked by our lowlife-in-chief," he told members of the press during the opening night of the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival. "That's the new name I have for him."