NEW YORK: Oscar-winning actor Robert de Niro issued an expletive-laden denunciation of US President Donald Trump during the live television broadcast of the Tony Awards ceremony on Sunday.
De Niro appeared on stage at New York’s Radio City Music Hall to introduce rocker and Tony Awards performer Bruce Springsteen. “I’m gonna say one thing. F*** Trump,” De Niro said, without any preamble.
With the audience of theatre actors, directors and producers shrieking and rising to their feet in applause, De Niro said, “It’s no longer down with Trump. It’s f*** Trump.”
He did not elaborate on his comment and switched immediately to a prepared introduction of Springsteen.
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The expletive, known as the F-bomb, was bleeped by the CBS network for millions of television watchers at home, a CBS spokeswoman said. However, it was heard by those in the audience and journalists covering the awards show, which honours the best of Broadway theatre.
De Niro is one of the most respected actors in the United States, with two Oscar wins for Raging Bull and The Godfather: Part II.
The White House did not immediately return a request for comment. CBS also did not return a request for further comment.
De Niro, a noted liberal, has been increasingly critical of Trump, a Republican, at smaller showbusiness events, but none have the high profile and audience of the Tony Awards.
The Tony Awards show was seen by some six million Americans last year.
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