Robert De Niro wasn't happy that the political part of his speech at the 2023 Gotham Awards was edited out.
The actor was at the podium for the Monday, November 27, event in NYC to honor his and Martin Scorsese's flick Killers of the Flower Moon with the Historical Icon and Creator Tribute award. However, as he read his words from the teleprompter, he realized they left off the starting portion of his address.
"The beginning of my speech was edited, cut out and I didn't know about it. And I want to read it," he stated, then pulling out his phone so he could share his original thoughts, some of which targeted Donald Trump.
"History isn't history anymore. Truth is not truth. Even facts are being replaced by alternative facts and driven by conspiracy theories and ugliness," the Oscar winner began, then going into current events.
"In Florida, young students are taught that slaves were taught skills that could be applied for their personal benefit. The entertainment industry isn't immune to this festering disease," he continued. "The Duke, John Wayne, famously said of Native Americans, ‘I don’t feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them. There were great numbers of people who needed new land, and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves.’”
"Lying has become just another tool in the charlatan’s arsenal. 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," De Niro, 80, said of Trump, 77. "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.”
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The movie star concluded his speech by taking a dig at the Gotham Awards themselves.
“I’m gonna say these things, but to Apple and thank them and all that, Gothams, blah, blah, blah, Apple,” he spewed. “But I don’t feel like thanking them at all after what they did. How dare they do that, actually?”
The father-of-seven has been outspoken about his distaste for the businessman for years — in fact, he was supposed to attend The New Republic's Stop Trump Summit in NYC last month, but a positive COVID-19 test prevented him from doing so.
Instead, he had someone read out his message.
"I've spent a lot of time studying bad men," the statement read. "I've examined their characteristics, their mannerisms, the utter banality of their cruelty. Yet there's something different about Donald Trump. When I look at him, I don't see a bad man. Truly. I see an evil one."
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"Over the years, I've met gangsters here and there," his words continued. "[Trump] tries to be one, but he can't quite pull it off. There's such a thing as 'honor among thieves.' Yes, even criminals usually have a sense of right and wrong. Whether they do the right thing or not is a different story — but — they have a moral code, however warped. Donald Trump does not."