November 28th 2023.
Robert De Niro was the guest of honor at NYC's Gotham Independent Film Awards on Monday night to accept the Gotham historical icon and creator tribute award on behalf of Killers of the Flower Moon, which he starred in. However, the 80-year-old actor was left furious as he took to the stage, claiming part of his speech had been ‘edited’ without his knowledge.
The Hollywood legend was reading from a teleprompter when he appeared to be struggling and then paused, before realizing some of his speech, in which he was set to blast former US President Donald Trump, was missing. He addressed the audience and said, “I just want to say one thing. The beginning of my speech was edited, cut out, and I didn’t know about it. And I want to read it.”
Robert then took his phone out and read the part of his speech that had been ‘cut’, which also referenced a 1971 Playboy interview with late actor John Wayne, who was known as The Duke. He said, “It was... Thank you, history isn’t history anymore. Truth is not truth. Even facts are being replaced by alternative facts and driven by conspiracy theories and ugliness. In Florida, young students are taught that slaves develop skills which can be applied for their personal benefit. The entertainment industry isn’t immune to this festering disease. The Duke John Wayne famously said of Native Americans, ‘I don’t feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them. There were great numbers of people who needed new land and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves.’ Lying has become just another tool in the charlatans’ arsenal. The former president lied to us more than 30,000 times during his four years in office, and he’s keeping up the pace in his current campaign of retribution.”
The A-lister went on to say, “But with all his lies, he can’t hide his soul. He attacks the weak, destroys the gifts of nature, and shows disrespect, for example, by using Pocahontas as a slur.” Robert was applauded by the audience for reading out the missing part of his speech but admitted he didn’t feel like ‘thanking’ the Gotham Awards and Killers Of The Flower Moon’s producer Apple, accusing them of editing his words.
He said, “But I don’t feel like thanking them at all for what they did. How dare they do that, actually. I’m going to say these things, but to Apple and thank them and all that... Gotham, blah blah blah, thank them and all that. But I don’t feel like thanking them at all for what they did. How dare they do that, actually.”
The Agency has reached out to the Gotham Independent Film Awards and Apple for comment. Robert was at the ceremony to accept the award on behalf of Killers of the Flower Moon, which he starred alongside Leonardo DiCaprio. It is yet to be seen what the official response to Robert's claims will be, but one thing is for sure - his words certainly left an impression on the audience.
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