What would an entertainment industry award show be without pampered, vacuous celebrities giving viewers their unsolicited opinions about President Trump and leftwing causes?
More entertaining perhaps?
This time it was the Tony Awards, and the main culprit was fake movie tough-guy Robert De Niro. While introducing a musical number by Bruce Springsteen, the oh-so-clever De Niro spouted the following line: “I’m going to say one thing: F*** Trump. It’s no longer, ‘Down with Trump.’ It’s ‘F*** Trump.’”
So, that vague slapping sound you may have heard on Sunday evening was probably the collective face palm of television viewers all over America. Meanwhile, the theater full of elitist snobs gave Travis Bickle a standing ovation for his impressive moment of oratory.
Then, in a stunning moment of Hollywood irony, De Niro went to Toronto the very next day and took the opportunity to apologize on behalf of Americans to all Canadians for President Trump’s behavior at the G-7 summit last week. “I just want to make a note of apology for the idiotic behavior of my president,” De Niro said during a groundbreaking ceremony for one of his new hotels. “It’s a disgrace, and I apologize to Justin Trudeau and the other people at the G-7. It’s disgusting.”
It’s a cliché, but imagine a conservative actor saying the words, “F*** Obama,” during an awards show. The media furor would be unrestrained and last a month.
De Niro has long been a vocal critic of the president, dating back to the campaign of 2016. In August of that year, De Niro spoke about the future president at the Sarajevo film festival, “What he’s been saying is really, totally crazy, ridiculous stuff. He’s totally nuts.”
Later, in October of 2016, De Niro famously ranted about Trump. “He’s a punk, he’s a dog, he’s a pig, he’s a con, a bulls**t artist, a mutt who doesn’t know what he’s talking about, doesn’t do his homework, doesn’t care, thinks he’s gaming society, doesn’t pay his taxes,” the actor said at the time.
De Niro wasn’t the only celebrity using the Tonys to comment on the leftist cause of their choice. Andrew Garfield, the star of the play Angels in America, dedicated his Best Actor win to the LGBTQ community. In the play, Garfield plays a gay man diagnosed with AIDS. “At a moment in time where maybe the most important thing we remember now is the sanctity of the human spirit, it is the profound privilege of my life to play Prior Walter in Angels in America, because he represents the purest spirit of humanity and especially that of the LGBTQ community,” Garfield said. “So I dedicate this award to the countless LGBTQ who have fought and died to protect that spirit.”
As of yet, Garfield has received no backlash for leaving the intersexed and asexual (it’s LGBTQIA now, Mr. Garfield!) out of his speech. Garfield concluded his acceptance speech by tweaking the Supreme Court’s recent decision vindicating a Christian baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple. “We are all sacred and we all belong. So, let’s just bake a cake for everyone who wants a cake to be baked.”
Nathan Lane, who starred with Garfield in Angels in America, also received an award for his performance and got in a subtle dig at President Trump when he praised playwright Tony Kushner. “I’m standing here because Tony wrote one of the greatest plays of the twentieth century and it is still speaking to us as powerfully as ever in the midst of such political insanity.”
Kushner, who also won a Tony for Best Revival of a Play for Angels, continued the theme when he urged the audience to get out and vote in November. “Twenty-one weeks ‘til November 6th. The midterm elections. Twenty-one weeks to make sure the right of citizens to vote is protected and exercised. Twenty-one weeks to save our democracy and heal our country and heal our planet.”
While you might disagree with Garfield, Lane, and Kushner, at least their pronouncements were made with some eloquence and a bit of dignity. The same cannot be said of De Niro and his crude and boorish remarks. Bobby De Niro represents the worst of Hollywood: an overprivileged and under-brained narcissist who actually believes his words matter to anyone outside his elitist circle of acquaintances.
Photo: AP Images