Veteran actor Robert De Niro told an Obama birther joke and followed it up with a one-liner about Republicans while honoring Morgan Freeman at the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Chaplin Award ceremony in New York on Monday.
According to Variety, Freeman, 87, was hailed as a cinematic icon and the inspiration for President Barack Obama’s political career at the event, which was attended by A-list stars, including De Niro, Helen Mirren, and Matthew Broderick.
While toasting Freeman, De Niro joked that President Obama’s political career was inspired by the 1998 apocalyptic asteroid film Deep Impact, in which Freeman played the country’s first black president.
“In 1998 he played President Beck in the movie ‘Deep Impact.’ Morgan’s movie performance was an inspiration for the young Barack Obama,” the actor reportedly joked. “According to reports, after seeing the film, Barack turned to his friends in Kenya and said I want to be president, too. If only I had a birth certificate.”
De Niro, who is one of Hillary Clinton’s most high-profile supporters, added: “Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out so great for [Obama] … Morgan’s President Beck only had to deal with a giant asteroid hitting the earth and wiping out mankind. President Obama has had to deal with a Republican Congress.”
De Niro said last April he felt Hillary Clinton is entitled to the White House because she had “paid her dues.”
He said, “[S]he has earned the right to be president and the head of the country at this point. It’s that simple. And she’s a woman, which is very important because her take on things may be what we need right now.”
Variety reports following De Niro’s comments at the Film Society event, Matthew Broderick then commented on Morgan Freeman’s voice, which has been compared to the voice of God, as Freeman has voiced God in multiple films.
According to Broderick, the comparison is the other way around.
“Morgan Freeman doesn’t sound like God, God sounds like Morgan Freeman,” the Ferris Bueller actor said.