The Corner

Culture

Robert De Niro’s Juvenile Stunt at the Tonys

Actor Robert De Niro speaks before introducing Bruce Springsteen’s performance at the Tony Awards in New York, June 10, 2018. (Lucas Jackson/Reuters)

The Tony Awards should have been a celebration of The Band’s Visit, the beautifully underplayed musical about Egyptian musicians striking up fumbling temporary friendships with the residents of a dusty Israeli village, which captured ten awards including Best Musical, and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the spectacular new chapter in the kid-magic saga, which won Best Play and five other trophies.

Instead, all anyone is talking about is Robert De Niro, whose moronic ad-lib made the front page of the New York Post and was a top trending topic on Twitter this morning. CBS switched off the sound as De Niro, who was on hand to introduce Bruce Springsteen (whose Broadway show this season has also been a huge success) interjected, “I’m gonna say one thing: F*** Trump. It’s no longer ‘Down with Trump’; it’s ‘F*** Trump.'” The audience exploded in applause.

Broadway depends on tourists for a huge percentage of its ticket sales. Does it really want to broadcast an image of being hostile to the 40 percent or so of the country that supports the president? CBS was obviously prepared for editorializing and allowed nothing of what De Niro said about Trump to be heard by the TV audience. It didn’t just blank out the F word; it blanked out the entire Trump comment because it was completely inappropriate and didn’t belong. This was wise, but alas the public has a way of finding out things.

The people who should be most furious with De Niro are not Trump or his fans. The people who should be most furious with De Niro are the Tony honorees. This was their big night, the single opportunity they have each year to promote their craft to millions of TV watchers. Instead, De Niro had to unleash a childish, pointless rant and steal their spotlight. Shame on him.

Most Popular

Law & the Courts

Where Is the Flynn 302?

Better late than never (I hope), my weekend column has posted on the website. It deals with the question whether General Michael Flynn actually lied to the FBI agents — including the now infamous Peter Strzok — when they interviewed him in the White House on his third day on the job as national security ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Did Flynn Lie?

At the outset, let’s get two things straight: First, there is something deeply disturbing about the Obama administration’s decision to open a counterintelligence investigation on retired lieutenant general Michael Flynn while he was working on the Trump campaign — and, ultimately, about the Justice ... Read More
Culture

Remembering Christopher Hitchens

Tributes to the late Christopher Hitchens, who died seven years ago yesterday, are trending on Twitter. Hardly surprising. Hitchens had one of those rare, magnetic personalities and a genius for friendship according to some of the most talented writers around today such as Douglas Murray, Christopher Buckley, and ... Read More