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Robert De Niro’s Tony Performance Cursing Trump Speaks to Hollywood’s Diminishing Moral Character

Robert De Niro’s Tony Performance Cursing Trump Speaks to Hollywood’s Diminishing Moral Character

What was he thinking?

You may have heard about actor Robert De Niro’s standing O performance at last night’s Tony awards. It was bleeped from the broadcast but is readily available:

And so, to the question in the subtitle of this post, you may answer in kind “who gives a f*** what De Niro was thinking?” Or: “nothing at all.”

My own answer is that I care because it’s symptomatic of the breakdown of civility on the left and in the acting profession as a result of Trump Derangement Syndrome, which is completely rampant. The most interesting thing is not really De Niro so much as the overwhelmingly positive reaction of the crowd.

We already know that the vast majority of people in the arts are on the left. We know they hate Trump; that’s no surprise. But the relish with which so many of them (not all, but many) applauded De Niro’s essentially mindless, contentless display of expletive-laced hatred had no point except as mob virtue-signaling. But what is the “virtue” in yelling the f-word at someone? Wouldn’t a sentence or two as to what’s wrong with Trump, why one might oppose him or his policies, have been better?

The problem is that an approach like that wouldn’t have gotten much press. But what De Niro did went viral.

That had to have been his goal. De Niro was a great actor in his prime, but his prime is long past. That happens to the best of us, and it’s not always easy to take. In this case he had a bully pulpit and chose to use it to get attention for an exceptionally juvenile show.

It also reminded me of this:

Early in the life of my blog (January 2005, practically ancient history), I wrote a post entitled “The fine art of insulting half your audience.” Here’s a portion of what I wrote (I was talking about authors, but it could have been people in any of the arts):

The Bush-dissing will be thrown in when you least expect it, just to let the reader know—well, to let the reader know what, exactly? To let the reader know that the author is hip, kindly, intelligent, moral—oh, just about everything a person ought to be. And that the reader must of course be a member of the club, too—not one of those Others, the warmongers, the selfish and stupid and demonized people who happen to have voted for Bush…

Authors, do you really want to do this? Because, with a single sentence, you’ve managed to alienate and offend (not to mention insult) up to half your audience.

I don’t think this even occurs to you. I think you just assume that anyone perceptive and intelligent and downright nuanced enough to be reading your fabulous work couldn’t possibly—no, say it isn’t so, Joe!!—support that disgusting, repulsive, lying POS Bush. Or maybe you just don’t care. Maybe you don’t want people like that for your audience…

And this from people who consider themselves culturally and morally superior, although this sense of superiority doesn’t seem to reside in their needing to prove themselves to be well-informed or logical or knowledgeable about the issues—just in letting the world know that they’re on the right side of them (which would be the left side, naturalment).

Nothing has changed except that it’s gotten far worse in every way, and of course, it’s no longer about Bush, although if he were to somehow re-enter public life, that would start up again, too.

Quite a few people have pointed out that the footage of De Niro and that audience standing up could make for very good campaign ads in 2018 or 2020. The hatred that our cultural betters (in their humble opinion) have for the people who attend their plays is strikingly apparent, and it doesn’t sit well with middle America. And yes, middle America is a big big part of the audience for Broadway shows. People come to New York on vacation and plan ahead, getting tickets that put them back quite a pretty penny. They don’t like to think they’re being entertained by people who have contempt and even hatred for them.

[Neo-neocon is a writer with degrees in law and family therapy, who blogs at neo-neocon.]


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This tirade is all he and H-wood amount to. Vacuous raging hormones.

    Andy in reply to Whitewall. | June 12, 2018 at 12:26 am

    If he hadn’t done the tirade, most of us would not have known they had an awards show. They are sort of like the insane meth head on the corner at this point. I could listen, or just roll up the window and avoid making eye contact.

Hollywood lost me long ago.

casualobserver | June 11, 2018 at 5:33 pm

I’ve been around for many decades. And don’t remember EVER looking to Hollywood for moral guidance much less even moral “references”. Not sure I understand the premise.

Juba Doobai! | June 11, 2018 at 5:37 pm

“Hollywood’s diminishing moral character”?


That word presumes there was once “moral character” in Hollywood.

When? Pray, tell.

    snopercod in reply to Juba Doobai!. | June 11, 2018 at 6:48 pm

    Now wait just a darn minute. I recall lots of Hollywood movies with a good moral message, the John Wayne movies in particular. Then there’s Robert Duvall in Open Range and Broken Trail. Those were what I’d call moral movies.

    Has gone downhill for quite a few decades…

    I remember watching “awards” shows in the 1970s and they were fun, glamorous, entertaining and ‘family friendly’ for the most part.

    Hollyweirdos decided to a) ignore the ‘casting couch’ issues for FAR TOO LONG… and b) put soft porn in most shows

    I’ve stopped going to movies…

Makes me love Jimmy Stewart even more.

DieJustAsHappy | June 11, 2018 at 5:43 pm

When I think of De Zero, as well as others like him, it seems to me that Proverbs 26:12 says it so very well. “Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? There is more hope of a fool than of him.”

When scripts are written for Pesci & DeNiro, e.g., Goodfellas, Casino, it’s a common occurrence that the keyboard’s “f” key must be frequently replaced. If said enough the f-word really becomes quite infantile.

Someone needs to tell these people that FU is not a persuasive argument. Not going to win me to your side if that’s all you’ve got.

Canadian_Mike | June 11, 2018 at 6:03 pm

From that picture he could just as easily be screaming “get off my lawn”.


It’s not ‘diminishing’. It’s ALWAYS been like this, they were just better at hiding it from the public.

Trump made them reveal who they’ve ALWAYS been.

    Randolf99 in reply to Olinser. | June 11, 2018 at 8:31 pm

    President Trump’s revealing political correctness for what it is: Thought and speech control.
    Revealing who they have always been–filthy mouthed, vile NWO vipers–is a GREAT spinoff effect of Trump’s challenges to the NWO / Leftist / Communist scum.

DINORightMarie | June 11, 2018 at 6:13 pm

As the Morning Joe cast of leftist characters said this morning, DeNiro’s nonsensical statement, which got a partial standing O (many did not stand – some, as one woman with her hands over her mouth showed, were quite shocked) only HELPS Trump.

When will they ever learn? (oh!) When will they ever learn?

The Friendly Grizzly | June 11, 2018 at 6:29 pm

A fading has-been. He’s ready for his closeup, Mr. DeMille.

There was a time actors commanded respect. But then those actors had been awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, Silver Stars, Bronze Stars with valor sometime in their past or was the Commander of an Air Reserve Wing.

    Rick in reply to Tsquared. | June 11, 2018 at 7:18 pm

    I lived in Japan in the 5th grade in 1955 when on the way to pick up friend to go to the field house my friend’s dad invited me in and had me meet a friend of his. The friend was a slight, smallish, good looking, very polite and friendly man who asked me how I liked living in Japan, what our little gang did for fun, etc.
    Turns out, I learned later, that it was Audie Murphy.

I question the newsworthiness of De Niro acting like De Niro and being applauded for it.

This is so central to my life that I did not even know that there was an awards show last night, until I caught people talking about it today on talk radio.

These leftists can do whatever they want on their shows and it will not bother me a bit.

Gremlin1974 | June 11, 2018 at 7:32 pm

The problem is that we have allowed these Entertainers, Athletes, and Celebrities come to believe that they are actual people of importance, when nothing could be further from the truth.

I have more respect for the waitress who brings me my burger hot fresh and as ordered than I do these overblown egomaniacs.

What needs to happen is to stop giving them the attention when they pull stuff like this.

OleDirtyBarrister | June 11, 2018 at 8:06 pm

Trump should jam it up Deniro’s rectum on the Barbuda casino play.

Trump should invite residents from Barbuda to the White House to tell their story and give them publicity. I am not all that big on communal rights vs. personal property, but the people there have the right to object to what they are losing and the right of self determination. They have good cause for concern about corruption and bribery being behind their president’s decisions.

I actually think, if you pay close attention to what he said, that DeNiro is actually capitulating.

He says since we can’t get rid of him, just eff him.

Just a petulent little man who is powerless to get rid of Trump so throws a tantrum.


DeNiro is nothing but a filthy, vile pervert who is desperate to be relevant in his old age. He’s famous and rich—but irrelevant. It must be VERY frustrating for him.
I love seeing him twist in the wind with endless hatred for anything that doesn’t agree with HIM.

Cursing out our President and his daughter on TV.


G. de La Hoya | June 11, 2018 at 9:43 pm

DeNiro thinks himself as tough, boxing legend, Raging Bull, Jake LaMotta. Tough guy DeNiro allows someone to live in his head. Sad. If he owns guns they should be confiscated by the Feds 😉

    healthguyfsu in reply to G. de La Hoya. | June 11, 2018 at 10:16 pm

    I always find the play a tough guy on tv act to be hilarious when it hits reality. He has friends that play hitmen on tv, so don’t mess with him or you’ll end up like his friends on tv that play those that sleep with the fishes.

The major question is why. The answer can be one of several things.

1) DeNiro is so deluded that he thinks his outburst will be received to universal praise. This is the ‘Big Bubble’ answer.

2) DeNiro wants to buff up his Hollywood cred and doesn’t care what or who he has to wreck to do it, and doesn’t care that his outburst will count for more Trump votes in two years. It’s just me, me, me.

3) He’s secretly a Republican.

I’m thinking #1 is the most probable.

healthguyfsu | June 11, 2018 at 10:14 pm

Be careful with comparing a liberal to an ape…they will suddenly find some single digit percentage of minority ancestry in his DNA and retroactively label you a racist.

He demeans no one as much as himself. A little man in elevator shoes attempting to grasp one more applause. No shame.

Subotai Bahadur | June 12, 2018 at 12:29 am

It is an enemy of the country preaching to other enemies of the country, who cheer him for it. Other than taking names, there is nothing to do. Those who attended and who cannot prove that they were no cheering need to be boycotted.

Imbecile narcissists.

Thats what they’re thinking.

Stop buying their products!

I read an article about De Niro’s rant in Variety magazine (not exactly a conservative leaning publication or anything near that) and what I found particularly interesting were the comments people made. Of the many , many comments I read, not a single one was in favor of De Niro and all of them were condemning him for what he said. Could it be the country is regaining its sanity?

    neo-neocon in reply to Cleetus. | June 12, 2018 at 7:18 am

    Cleetus: I read the comments to a WaPo article on the subject and they were uniformly approving of De Niro. Most of them said that what De Niro did was Trump’s fault for lowering the level of discourse, and that therefore he drove De Niro to it.

    I kid you not.

      Valerie in reply to neo-neocon. | June 12, 2018 at 11:02 am

      The Washington Post is known for inflating its circulation numbers, that is a very small step from employing approving sock puppets, which are commercially available. I am sure that by now there are many other sources for sock puppets besides the original David Brock’s nerd virgins.

Bucky Barkingham | June 12, 2018 at 7:33 am

If this is all they have at this point in Trump’s first term where will they be after the Mystical, Magical, Great Blue Wave fails to materialize in November and sweep Trump from power? Has been celebs screaming Death to Trump?

    I wouldn’t count that “blue wave” out just yet. Ryan & Company are doing their level best to create a “red trough” that will increase the “blue wave” by default.

These idiots claim Trump has coarsened our culture by his language and conduct. So…..we have no more sense than to imitate him? Imitation is the sincerity form of flattery.
What kind of person is DeNiro that he really loves Trump but isn’t man enough to admit it?

    Valerie in reply to Hawk. | June 12, 2018 at 11:08 am

    I don’t know about you, but I find DJT to be far more gently spoken than a fairly large roster of leftists and even prominent Democrats at the national level.

    Of course, the only way to fully appreciate the difference between DJT’s remarks and those of Nancy Pelosi, Elizabeth Warren, Hillary Clinton, Harry Reid, Chuck Schumer, et al., is to watch the videos or read the transcripts. Reading a re-telling of DJT remarks by his political enemies along side an actual transcript or video is an enlightening experience.

Washed up Marxist actor.

Another has-been selfishlshly steals a mike for perverted purposes.

Another Voice | June 12, 2018 at 3:28 pm

Posted the following on Mike LaChance’s article on Baldwin wins Hollywood vote. I find it equally applicable to my take on De Niro, interchangeable as they are:

“Baldwin being so electable, definitely should be their (Democrat) candidate. Their own new age version of Ronald Reagan, subtracting John Wayne and adding Robert De Niro as their “values” guide.

Every Democrat should be able to get behind their platform.
Would enjoy watching this play out in real time.

Diminishing moral character? With a few exceptions, whatever made you think they ever had any? Generally speaking, they are Commiecrats. It’s not like we are talking about people with anything resembling ethical and moral constraints. “The end justifies the means” tends to sum up the majority of their thinking.

Yeah, but gorillas have a reason.

If I were a gorilla I would act like a silverback.