Donald Trump is not known for being current, and that theme is continued here. Almost a week after Robert De Niro denounced the censorship of his planned anti-Trump speech, which he gave anyway, Republican front-runner and insurrectionist Donald Trump attacked him for his “disgusting language.”
Trump posted on his social media company Truth Social, which has lost $31 million since its launch, “Robert De Niro, whose acting talents have greatly diminished, with his reputation now shot, must even use a teleprompter for his foul and disgusting language, so disrespectful to our Country. He has become unwatchable both in movies, and with the FOOLS that destroyed the Academy Awards, bringing them from one of the top shows in the Country to a Low Rated afterthought. De Niro should focus on his life, which is a mess, rather than the lives of others. He has become a total loser, as the World watches, waits, and laughs!”
Donald Trump conflated himself with our “Country” as wannabe dictators often do. De Niro did not attack our country; he attacked those who are destroying the foundational principles of our country, and that is what upset Trump. Because he is the leader of the attacks on our democracy.
Trump attacked De Niro for several reasons, not the least of which is De Niro is everything Trump wanted to be and will never be in terms of star power and sheer talent. He has two Academy Awards, a Golden Globe Award, the Cecil B. DeMille Award, and a Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award. He also has a Presidential Medal of Freedom awarded to him by then President Barack Obama.
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De Niro was also, like Obama, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton and other Democrats, the target of an explosive device in 2018, sent to those who criticized Trump.
De Niro can also remember lines and turn on a dime to regroup while giving a meaningful speech, neither of which Trump can do. But we can’t underestimate Trump’s fragile ego, which takes feeble, puerile aim anyone who dares to call out his attacks on democracy.
Robert De Niro was not, in fact, using a teleprompter, because he had to use his own phone after his speech was censored by an Apple (“Killers of the Flower Moon” producer) employee at the Gotham Awards, removing criticisms of Donald Trump, “alternative facts,” and more because “The company was responding to feedback from the filmmaking team that wanted the actor’s remarks to be centered on the movie, according to a source.”
De Niro, realizing his speech had been censored, pulled out his phone to read his speech as written, saying, “I just want to say one thing. The beginning of my speech was edited, cut out, and I didn’t know about it. And I want to read it.”
“History isn’t history anymore. Truth is not truth. Even facts are being replaced by alternative facts and driven by conspiracy theories and ugliness. In Florida, young students are taught that slaves developed skills which can be applied for their personal benefit.
The entertainment industry isn’t immune to this festering disease. 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 in his current campaign of retribution. But with all his lies, he can’t hide his soul. He attacks the weak, destroys the gifts of nature, and shows disrespect, for example, by using ‘Pocahontas’ as a slur.”
De Niro ended by saying he was going to thank Apple and the Gotham Film Awards, “But I don’t feel like thanking them at all for what they did. How dare they do that, actually.”
Variety found that the edited speech was delivered to the teleprompter “less than ten minutes before the event started” omitting references to Trump, “It instead had De Niro reference how “watching the news today” makes it clear that “we actually are living in a post-truth society.”
Apple appears to have tried to turn De Niro’s speech into an attack on the news instead of an attack on the current main source of misinformation in the U.S., Donald Trump.
This kind of corporate censorship is common as a country is engaging in democratic backsliding, but also, as much as Republicans love to attack “Hollywood” for being liberal, Hollywood is infamous for censorship of liberal viewpoints at its award shows. Hollywood is big business at its core. It’s capitalism first, art as a means to profit. The liberalism is brought by the creatives, which executives use to get people to buy tickets. Like so much of big business in late stage capitalism, the dominate value is making a bigger profit than the year before.
“A source close to the film denied that there was any censorship involved and said that the incident was a miscommunication,” Variety noted, and someone claimed they had no idea that De Niro had signed off on his speech, which might make sense except that they chose to load a speech he definitely had not signed off on instead, so clearly a choice was made to cut the anti-Trump portion.
Donald Trump attacking De Niro has only brought the actor’s speech back into the news cycle, and it’s an important speech heard by people who might not pay close attention to the news and therefore be unaware of the danger facing the U.S. So thanks to Trump for highlighting the courage of Robert De Niro and other artists who refuse to be silenced.
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Sarah has been credentialed to cover President Barack Obama, then VP Joe Biden, 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and exclusively interviewed Speaker Nancy Pelosi multiple times and exclusively covered her first home appearance after the first impeachment of then President Donald Trump.
Sarah is two-time Telly award winning video producer and a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.