Monday, June 17, 2024

Gotham Awards: Robert De Niro Snaps at Apple Studios for Cutting Trump, John Wayne Out of Speech: “How dare they!” (Listen)


Robert De Niro is very unhappy with Apple Studios.

Reading his speech honoring Martin Scorsese and Killers of the Flower Moon at tonight’s Gotham Awards. De Niro became momentarily confused by the Teleprompter. Then he realized his words including a damnation of Donald Trump had been severely edited.

De Niro proceeded to read aloud what he intended to say. He went on thank various people but when he got to Apple he immediately disowned them.

A fervent critic of Trump. De Niro suffers no fools. It’s hard to imagine how this will play out with Apple on Tuesday.

How it began: De Niro reading from the Teleprompter suddenly stopped and shuffled papers.

He said, “I’m going to go back. I’m sorry. Okay, there was a mistake in this. I’ll keep going. Just keep scrolling.”

“I just want to say one thing,” he said, getting the papers in order (this took just nano seconds but the whole room fell silkent. “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.”

Now he had the attention of the room completely.

He continued: “In Florida, young students are taught that slaves developed skills that could 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.’”

The John Wayne line stopped the show. I think even the waiters looked up.

“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. Filmmakers, on the other hand, strive — this is where I came in and I saw that they edited all that,” he said.

Again, not a word in the room. De Niro went in for the wrap up but no one expected this: “So I’m going to say these things but to Apple and thank them all that…Gotham, blah blah blah, but I don’t feel like thanking them at all for what they did. How dare they do that, actually. But now I will go to: Accepting the award for ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’…”

It may be the most famous moment from any Gotham Awards. I would not want to be Apple executives this morning.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

Read more

In Other News