Oscar-winning actor Robert de Niro issued an expletive-laden denunciation of US President Donald Trump during the live television broadcast of the Tony Awards ceremony on Sunday.
De Niro, a staunch Trump opponent, appeared on stage at New York’s Radio City Music Hall to introduce rocker and Tony Awards performer Bruce Springsteen.
"I’m gonna say one thing. F— Trump," De Niro said, double fists raised and without any preamble.
With the audience of theatre actors, directors and producers shrieking and rising to their feet in applause, De Niro said: "It’s no longer down with Trump. It’s f— Trump."
The legendary actor urged the audience to vote in November and lauded Springsteen for his own political commitment before the singer sat at a piano for a moving performance based on his "Springsteen on Broadway" show that had him singing his classic hit, "My Hometown."
De Niro said of Springsteen: "Bruce, you can rock the house like nobody else and even more importantly in these perilous times, you rock the vote, always fighting for, in your own words, truth, transparency and integrity in government. Boy, do we need that now."
The expletive, known as the F-bomb, was bleeped by the CBS network for millions of television watchers at home, a CBS spokeswoman said.
However, it was heard by those in the audience and journalists covering the awards show, which honors the best of Broadway theatre.
Click Here: geelong cats guernsey 2019
De Niro is one of the most respected actors in the United States with two Oscar wins for "Raging Bull" and "The Godfather: Part II."
The White House did not immediately return a request for comment. CBS also did not return a request for further comment.
The anti-Trump sentiment swept backstage as playwright Tony Kushner and others from "Angels in America" spoke to reporters about its three big wins: best play revival and acting trophies for Andrew Garfield and Nathan Lane
Okay, what did De Niro say that got censored AND a standing ovation? #tonyawards
— Mandi Bierly (@MandiBierly) June 11, 2018
"I agree," Kushner said when asked about the De Niro moment, dropping an F-bomb of his own in relation to the president.
"I can’t believe De Niro did that," Kushner said. "Good for him. I mean, it’s Robert De Niro. Who’s gonna argue with him?"
Kushner went even further, calling Mr Trump’s presidency "the Hitler mistake" that put a "borderline psychotic narcissist in the White House."
De Niro, a noted liberal, has been increasingly critical of Trump, a Republican, at smaller showbusiness events, but none have the high profile and audience of the Tony Awards.
A month before Mr Trump was elected, De Niro called the candidate "stupid" and said: “I’d like to punch him in the face.”
The Tony Awards show was seen by some six million Americans last year.