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Robert De Niro left raging after anti-Trump speech is censored at awards ceremony

An angry Robert De Niro didn’t hold back at the Gotham Awards after claiming his speech was censored to remove anti-Donald Trump remarks.

The Killers of the Flower Moon actor, who regularly criticises the former president, graced the stage at the New York City ceremony on Monday (27 November) to present a tribute award to Celine Song’s drama Past Lives.

De Niro, 80, was reading from the teleprompter when he realised a section had been omitted, so he proceeded to read the edited comments from his phone.

“The beginning of my speech was edited, cut out,” he said, adding: “I didn’t know about it.”

De Niro then lambasted Trump, stating: “The former president lied to us more than 30,000 times during his four years in office, and he’s keeping up the pace with his current campaign of retribution.

“With all of his lies, he can’t hide his soul. He attacks the weak, destroys the gifts of nature and shows his disrespect for example using Pocahontas as a slur.”

De Niro suggested he believed it was Apple, who distributed Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon, who was responsible for the censoring of his speech, saying: “So I’m going to say these things – to Apple and thank them, all that. Gothams. Blah blah blah. Apple. But I don’t really feel like thanking them at all for what they did. How dare they do that, actually?”

The Independent has contacted Apple and Trump for comment. De Niro has regularly criticised Trump in the past, with the actor branding him “evil” and a “wannabe tough guy”.

In an 2019 interview with The Independent while promoting The Irishman, De Niro said: “Trump cares only about one thing: he wants to be the boss,” De Niro said. “He will be the boss no matter what it takes. If he did win the next election, there’s definitely more chance of him allowing us to get into a war, and if you’re a president in a war, it’s more likely a chance you would stay for a third term. Imagine him in a third term.”

Past Lives, directed by Celine Song, won Best Drama at the Gotham Awards with De Niro’s Killers of the Flower Moon co-star Lily Gladstone winning Best Actress – but for a different film entirely.

Lily Gladstone and Robert De Niro at the Gotham Awards 2023 (Getty Images for The Gotham Film)
Lily Gladstone and Robert De Niro at the Gotham Awards 2023 (Getty Images for The Gotham Film)

Gladstone took home the trophy for her performance in the little-seen drama The Unknown Country.