Actor Robert De Niro slammed President Trump and his administration’s supposed “hostility” to the arts while accepting a lifetime achievement award in New York Monday night.
During his acceptance of The Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Chaplin Award, the Goodfellas actor ripped Trump’s budget proposal from earlier this year, which would have cut taxpayer funding for the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
Trump’s budget was not signed into law, but that didn’t stop the 73-year-old Oscar-winner from criticizing it during his acceptance speech.
“The budget proposal, among its other draconian cuts to life-saving and life-enhancing programs, eliminates the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting,” De Niro said Monday, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “For their own divisive political purposes, the administration suggests that the money for these all-inclusive programs goes to rich liberal elites.”
“This is what they now call an ‘alternative fact,'” he added. “I call it what it is: bullsh*t.”
Of course, De Niro failed to mention that the Congressional budget plan signed into law by the president this month retains funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and actually increases the budgets of both the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities by $2 million each.
But De Niro doubled down on his criticism, adding: “I don’t make movies for ‘rich, liberal elites.’ I’ve got my restaurants for that. I ― and all of us speaking here tonight — make them for you.”
The actor has been a vocal critic of Trump since before November’s election.
In October, De Niro starred in a celebrity voter registration PSA and said he would like to “punch [Trump] in the face.” However, after the election, he said he was “waiting and hoping” to see if Trump would be the kind of leader who can “benefit everyone and benefit our neighbors around the world.”
In April, the Godfather star called Trump a “mutt” and said he has “debased the presidency.”