Robert De Niro decries Trump administration's 'hostility' toward the arts

Camille Rivera
May 10, 2017

Robert De Niro received a huge honor from the Film Society of Lincoln Center at the annual Chaplin Award Gala!

According to Entertainment Weekly, the 73-year-old Oscar victor took the stage after friends like Sean Penn, Whoopi Goldberg, Streep and Ben Stiller gave touching nods to the Tribeca Film Festival co-founder.

Sure enough, when we congratulated De Niro on his long and accomplished career, he said: "Thanks, thanks - thanks for that", seeming to imply that he was being called old.

Others who attended the event included Meryl Streep, Martin Scorsese, Harvey Keitel, Michael Douglas, Ben Stiller and Sean Penn.

During his acceptance speech, Robert called out "mean-spirited" Donald Trump for targeting arts programs. "This is what they now call an 'alternative fact.' I call it what it is - bullshit". "I've got my restaurants for that".

De Niro said on stage that the administration's mean-spiritedness towards art and entertainment is an expression of their attitude and added that people also want and deserve decent wages, a fair tax system, a safe environment, education for their children and a solid healthcare.

He claimed the President's recent plan to scrap the National Endowment for the Arts, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the National Endowment for the Humanities, was for his administration's "own divisive political purposes". "By being here tonight, you are supporting arts for everyone", DeNiro said.

With a career spanning almost 50 years, De Niro's filmography ranges from classics to comedies, and everyone had a favorite De Niro role they were eager to share. I like Johnny Boy from 'Mean Streets.' I was a big fan early on. He's a pig. He's a con, a bulls*** artist.

Michael Douglas, who starred opposite De Niro for the first time in a feature film in 2013's "Last Vegas", said he too was always impressed with his contemporary's ability to embrace such a variety of roles.

The actor has been a vocal critic of Trump since before November's election.

"I can pretend to be comfortable with him, but inside". But what he did, and what I do are two very different things, totally, of course.

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