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Robert De Niro Opens Up About How Trump Makes Him Concerned For His Gay Son

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.”

He added:

“[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.”

When asked if he would call Trump a racist, De Niro responded with an emphatic “yes.”

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.”

He continued:

“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.”

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.

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Written by Koh Mochizuki

Koh Mochizuki is a New York-based actor and writer. Originally hailing from Los Angeles, he received his B.A. in English literature and is fluent in Japanese. Disney parks are his passion, and endless cups of coffee are a necessity. Instagram: kohster Twitter: @kohster1