Robert De Niro introduced Bruce Springsteen’s performance of a piano-accompanied version of “My Hometown,” at the Tony Awards, and opened his speech by dropping two profane comments aimed at President Donald Trump.
“I’m just going to say one thing: f*ck Trump!” De Niro said. “It’s no longer ‘down with Trump.’ It’s ‘f*ck Trump!’”
De Niro received a mixture of astonished gasps, laughter, and a standing ovation after his short speech, according to Deadline. Both lines were bleeped on CBS, but were aired on the Australian broadcast. The applause lasted for a full 40 seconds, according to Slate.
Warning: this video contains strong language that some viewers may find inappropriate or offensive.
He continued his speech with: “Now I’ll get to my introduction. Do you have any idea how hard it is to get tickets to Bruce Springsteen’s show on Broadway? It’s easier to get tickets to Hamilton, and that’s got a much bigger cast, actual dancing, and a history lesson.”
Although most of the speakers at the Tony Awards avoided mentioning Trump by name, many were seen sporting “Times Up” pins and highlighting left-leaning organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union.
De Niro, who was once very tight-lipped on his political views and feelings, has burst out of his shell during the Trump era. “The Tribeca Film Festival, which he co-founded, became a platform for several of his anti-Trump broadsides,” Deadline reports.
Here’s the censored version of the video:
Among the Tony Award winners and performers at the show, members of the drama department at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, survivors of a school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that killed 17 people, brought the crowd to their feet with a rendition of “Seasons of Love” from “Rent.”
President Trump responded to De Niro’s comments, calling De Niro”punch-drunk,” commenting on his IQ and telling him to “Wake up Punchy!”
Twitter blew up almost immediately after De Niro’s comments, with a variety of reactions across the social media site. Many praised the actor, cracked jokes about Canada, and sarcastically brought up the “birther” controversy.
Other viewers were not impressed by De Niro’s blatant outburst, calling De Niro a hate-filled, bitter “snowflake,” and claimed they were going to boycott his movies.