It’s a safe bet that a lot of Americans—a popular majority, even—have exclaimed “Fuck Trump!” once or twice over the last couple of years, but only Robert De Niro has said it onstage during the Tony Awards. The actor was there to introduce Bruce Springsteen, who was receiving a special Tony Award on the occasion of his Springsteen on Broadway show, but before De Niro got down to business, he had to get something off his chest.
“I’m gonna say one thing: fuck Trump,” De Niro told the crowd, to gasps that quickly became cheers that then turned into a standing ovation. He raised both fists like a boxer, then added, “It’s no longer ‘Down with Trump,’ it’s ‘Fuck Trump.’ ” Both lines were bleeped on CBS, but survived in the Australian broadcast. The applause lasted for 40 solid seconds.
“Now I’ll get to my introduction,” De Niro said as the crowd settled down. “Do you have any idea how hard it is to get tickets to Bruce Springsteen’s show on Broadway? It’s easier to get tickets to Hamilton, and that’s got a much bigger cast, actual dancing, and a history lesson.” It was a welcome return to the corny jokes of award season speeches of the pre-Trump era. If only the country could get back on track as easily.