Robert De Niro had two bluntly profane outbursts aimed at President Donald Trump before introducing Bruce Springsteen at the Tony Awards.
NEW YORK — Well, somebody was bound to get political.
During last year’s Tony Awards, Robert De Niro shocked the crowd when he said “F*** Trump” twice on air, although neither expletive got past censors. Sunday’s show was far tamer and politics-free, save for a thinly veiled attack against President Donald Trump by Bryan Cranston.
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Accepting the award for best leading actor in a play for “Network,” in which he portrayed a fed-up news anchor, Cranston rousingly saluted “real journalists around the world,” many of whom the president has railed against during rallies and on Twitter. Despite never mentioning him by name, the actor’s abhorrence to Trump’s “fake news” rhetoric was evident.
“(Journalists) are actually in the line of fire in pursuit of the truth,” Cranston said, earning cheers from the audience at New York’s Radio City Music Hall. “The media is not the enemy of the people. Demagoguery is the enemy of the people.”
The “Breaking Bad” star elaborated on his charged comments while talking to reporters backstage afterward.
“It’s absurd to think that the media is the enemy of the people,” Cranston said. “If that message keeps getting propagated over and over and over again, sometimes it starts to seep in. And the perception of the truth is often more important than the truth, because if people believe it, it doesn’t matter whether it’s true or not.
“So the opposite message has to continue to be put out there, whether it’s diversity or the fight against the media or women’s reproductive rights or voting rights,” Cranston continued. “It’s important to keep sounding the alarm.”
Cranston went on to explain that he doesn’t use social media because “I don’t need to be the recipient of a bombardment of negativity and vilification, because I speak out about a lot of things. I want to speak my truth. If you don’t agree with that, that’s OK.”
“Network” marks the second Tony win for Cranston, 63, who in 2014 also won best actor for playing President Lyndon B. Johnson in “All the Way.” He most recently appeared on screen in January with Kevin Hart in “The Upside.”
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