A confused Robert De Niro claimed that his Gotham Awards speech was censored during the live ceremony on Monday night. The actor claimed anti-Trump comments were removed without notice.
“I’m going to go back. I’m sorry. Okay, there was a mistake in this. I’ll keep going. Just keep scrolling,” De Niro said early on in his speech.
“I just want to say one thing,” he said, doubling back. “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 that could be applied for their personal benefit,” De Niro continued. “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. Filmmakers, on the other hand, strive — this is where I came in and I saw that they edited all that,” he said.
“So I’m going to say these things but to Apple and thank them all that,” De Niro said as he wrapped the speech. “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’…”
De Niro was on hand to introduce the Gotham Historical Icon and Creator Tribute award on behalf of “Killers of the Flower Moon.”
Apple did not respond Variety‘s request for comment.
Watch the speech below.