Robert De Niro has been an outspoken critic of Donald Trump. The actor publicly rebuked the President at the 2018 Tony awards and called 45 a “fool” and a “baby-in-chief” at the National Board of Review awards gala last January.
De Niro’s animosity toward Trump is personal. The 75-year-old gift from the theater gods sat down with The Guardian and expressed his concern for his family as a result of the Trump administration’s emboldening of racism and intolerance.
When Trump won the 2016 presidential race, De Niro gave his fellow New Yorker the benefit of a doubt.
“When you see someone like [Trump] becoming president, I thought, well, OK, let’s see what he does – maybe he’ll change. But he just got worse.”
“It showed me that he is a real racist.”
De Niro’s worst fears about Trump were confirmed.
“I thought maybe as a New Yorker he understands the diversity in the city but he’s as bad as I thought he was before – and much worse. It’s a shame. It’s a bad thing in this country.”
The LGBTQ rights activist has six mixed-race children, one of whom is gay.
He discussed the rise in homophobia and sexism in the U.S. since Trump took office.
“I worry, and one of my kids is gay, and he worries about being treated a certain way. We talk about it.”
We are all connected... I worry about this as well... It's why I protest daily about this administration https://t.co/HGc1l1OD2W— Cid As In Vicious💜💛💜💛VIKINGS (@cidvicious6969) January 7, 2019
“[Trump is] a con artist. He’s a huckster. He’s a scam artist. And what bothers me is that people don’t see that. I think that The Apprentice had a lot to do with that, which I never saw but once, maybe.”
“It’s all smoke and mirrors, it’s all bullshit.”
Collectively pic.twitter.com/VDGTxYAzNO— Davar (@Dazarbeygui) January 7, 2019
Love me some De Niro! pic.twitter.com/4reWCpwZ8Q— MaCeha...🌺 (@Macceha) January 7, 2019
When asked if he would call Trump a racist, De Niro responded with an emphatic “yes.”
When asked if he would consider Trump a white supremacist, he replied: “Yes.”https://t.co/9phJpih5LJ— Brody Levesque (@BrodyLevesque) January 7, 2019
The actor expressed concern over the direction in which Trump is leading the U.S.
“I guess that’s what it leads to. If he had his way, we’d wind up in a very bad state in this country. I mean, the way I understand it, they laughed at Hitler. They all look funny. Hitler looked funny, Mussolini looked funny and other dictators and despots look funny.”
Robert De Niro is one of the best actors of our generation, has an autistic son, a gay father, married two WOC, is politically vocal, brought a cultural phenomenon to New York and y'all are really still asking me why I love this man. He's been woke before we knew what woke was.— trei baby (@lunchtrei) April 18, 2018
“What bothers me is that there will be people in the future who see him as an example and they’ll be affected in some way, but they’ll be a lot smarter and have many more colours to their personality and be more mercurial and become someone with the same values as he has but able to get much further and do more damage as a despot.”
“That’s my worry. There are people who look up to him: ‘I want to be like him.’ But they’ll do it much better and they’ll be more smart about it.”
Why is Robert De Niro so mad?— Gracie Raw (@Gracie_Raw) June 11, 2018
Son of a gay man
Husband to a black woman
Father of bi-racial kids & autistic son
Trump came for his family. pic.twitter.com/6J8K5wLn8I
De Niro was the recipient of a pipe bomb last year, along with other high-profile names, including Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Cesar Sayoc was later identified as the Trump supporter responsible for the attempted attacks.
The actor’s late father, Robert De Niro Sr., lived openly as a gay man, but the two remained distant until his death from cancer more than 20 years ago. The 2014 HBO documentary Remembering the Artist: Robert De Niro, Sr. was a way for De Niro to open up and honor the legacy of his father.