At the American Icon Awards ceremony in Beverly Hills Monday night, famous actor and vocal Donald Trump critic Robert De Niro wouldn't let the audience "get away" without hearing him blast the duly elected President of the United States, yet again. His comments, calling for the impeachment and imprisonment of Trump, received some claps, whistles, and laughs — but also some loud boos and groans from the crowd.
In a moment caught on video published by TMZ, De Niro, who has made a point of repeatedly condemning Trump over the last few years, turned his speech honoring his fellow iconic actor Al Pacino — with whom he's appeared in several films over the years — into an opportunity to decry the president once again.
"The producers of the American Icon Awards call it a tribute to individuals who lead America. Not so fast," the actor said (partial transcript via USA Today) "They don’t lead America — maybe they should — but they do fill their own essential roles. People of great individual accomplishments who give us examples to look up to. They’ve earned our respect and admiration, and they deserve this tribute."
De Niro then used the "lead America" theme to hammer Trump, and turned his "Make America Great Again" slogan against him in the process.
"You didn’t think you were going to completely get away without a 'F*** Trump' moment, did you?" said De Niro, who declared the line during the Tony Awards last year. "On the other hand, the individual who currently purports to lead America is not worthy of any tribute. Unless you think of his impeachment and imprisonment as a sort of tribute. And that’s how you’d 'Make America Great Again.'"
De Niro didn't get quite the reaction he was probably hoping for; as TMZ notes, "there were actually some boos. As Bob went on and on about DT, the audience seemed a little unsettled. Tough room."
Indeed loud boos and groans can be heard amid some of the more positive responses to De Niro's "impeach/imprison Trump" comments, and the overall mood of the room feels uncomfortable. Watch how the crowd responds (video below via TMZ):
Among the other people being honored as "icons" at the event were Quincy Jones and Evander Holyfield.
As for De Niro's anti-Trump record, along with his "F*** Trump!" declaration at the Tony Awards last summer, he has amassed a lengthy list of Trump-slamming comments. In January 2018, De Niro turned another speech intended to honor one of his colleagues into a chance to rip the "f***ing idiot" in the White House.
"It was fascinating to watch 'The Post,'" he said in a speech honoring Meryl Streep, who starred in the film. "That story took place nearly 50 years ago, but there are many parallels with today obviously. At the time of the story Donald Trump was suffering with 'bone spurs.' Today the world is suffering from the real Donald Trump."
"Come on. You know. What are we talking about?" he said. "This f***ing idiot is the president. It's The Emperor's New Clothes — the guy is a f***ing fool. ... Our government today, with the propping [up] of our baby-in-chief — the jerkoff-in-chief I call him — has put the press under siege, trying to discredit it through outrageous attacks and lies."