Robert De Niro launched into a profanity-ridden protest of President Donald Trump during the 2018 Tony Awards on Sunday.
The Raging Bull actor appeared on stage to introduce Bruce Springsteen, and began a diatribe against the leader, which network executives at CBS were forced to censor.
“Hey Trump – I’m talkin’ to you!” he shouted as he raised both his fists into the air. “I’m gonna say one thing: F**k Trump.”
The star’s comments were met with roaring applause from the crowd at New York’s Radio City Music Hall, who eventually took to their feet for a standing ovation.
“It’s no longer down with Trump. It’s f**k Trump,” he added, prompting further applause.
A spokesperson for CBS issued a brief statement after the ceremony, which read: “Mr. De Niro’s comments were unscripted and unexpected. The offensive language was deleted from the broadcast.”
De Niro was on hand to announce Springsteen’s performance, which is based on his Springsteen on Broadway show. The production earned the music legend a Special Tony Award during the ceremony.
The 74-year-old, an outspoken Trump critic, praised Springsteen for his political activism while encouraging the audience to vote in elections in November.
“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,” he said. “Boy, do we need that now.”
Earlier in the ceremony, Springsteen was presented with the honor by his good friend Billy Joel. While accepting the coveted prize, the Born in the USA hitmaker called the show “one of the most exciting things that I’ve ever experienced”.