Robert De Niro stripped of award after Donald Trump ‘tyrant’ speech

Robert De Niro

Actor Robert De Niro has been stripped of an award after he gave a speech outside the hush-money trial of Donald Trump, with organisers deeming it a “distraction”.

De Niro was invited by President Biden’s presidential campaign to speak at the press conference outside the courthouse. During the conference, De Niro called the former President Donald Trump a “tyrant”.

He said: “When Trump ran in 2016 it was like a joke. The buffoon running for president. No, never could happen. We have forgotten lessons of history that showed us other clowns who weren’t taken seriously until they became vicious dictators. With Trump, we have a second chance, and no one is laughing now.”

“Now he’s promising to use our own military to attack US citizens. That’s the tyrant, that is the tyrant he is telling us he will be, and believe me, he means it,” he added.

Actor Robert De Niro
Robert De Niro. (Theo Wargo/Getty)

The speech led to the National Association of Broadcasters Leadership Foundation to rescind De Niro’s invite to receive the 2024 Service of Leadership Award in recognition of the actor’s charity work and public service.

The award was due to be given at the foundation’s Celebration of Service to America Awards.

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In a statement provided to Deadline, the Foundation said: “The Celebration of Service to America Awards is dedicated to honouring the vital local journalism and public service that local radio and television stations provide to their communities.

“This event is proudly bipartisan, uniting those from across the political spectrum to celebrate the impactful work of local broadcasters and our partners.


WATCH: Robert De Niro speaks to reporters outside of Trump’s criminal hush money trial on behalf of the Biden-Harris campaign. The actor calls Trump a “buffoon,” “clown”, “sinner,” and a “two-bit playboy.” #MSNBC #Trump #trial #BidenHarris #fyp #foryou

♬ original sound – MSNBC

“While we strongly support the right of every American to exercise free speech and participate in civic engagement, it is clear that Mr De Niro’s recent high-profile activities will create a distraction from the philanthropic work that we were hoping to recognise.

“To maintain the focus on service of the award winners, Mr De Niro will no longer be attending the event.”

De Niro responded with a statement to The Hill, in which he said that he supports the work of the Foundation and expressed his “appreciation and gratitude for what the Foundation has done and will continue to do for the good of us all”.

Many users shared videos of De Niro’s speech on TikTok, with some right-wingers and Trump supporters commenting on De Niro’s “hatred for the previous President” and asking whether the beloved actor has “ruined his legacy” over this.

Some commenters said that De Niro was “insane”, an “embarrassment”, too “woke”, and asked that he stick to acting and “stay out of politics”.

Others said they used to be a fan of the actor but that they no longer supported him due to this remarks about Trump.

The Goodfellas and Taxi Driver star has been very vocal about his criticism of the former President and his policies, while Trump branded De Niro a “loser” in response.

Trump was convicted on Thursday on 34 counts of falsifying business records to keep a potential sex scandal quiet, in what had been dubbed the “hush-money” trial, with De Niro saying that “justice was served” when the verdict was served.

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