The 74-year-old actor – who is a long-time critic of the US President – attended the glitzy ceremony at Radio City Music Hall in New York City to introduce a performance by legendary rocker Bruce Springsteen, but De Niro used the platform to slam the controversial politician.
With his fists raised towards the sky, De Niro explained: “I’m gonna say one thing. F**k Trump.”
The Hollywood icon’s statement prompted actors, directors and producers inside the hall to rise to their feet and applaud.
De Niro continued: “It’s no longer down with Trump. It’s f**k Trump.”
A spokesperson for the US network CBS – which was broadcasting the event – subsequently confirmed that it had bleeped the actor’s curses out of the show.
However, the audience inside the venue could hear every word of De Niro’s rant.
The ‘Raging Bull’ star also used the opportunity to urge Americans to vote, and he praised Springsteen for his own political commitment.
He said: “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.”
During the show, Springsteen delivered a moving performance of his classic hit ‘My Hometown’, basing his effort on his ‘Springsteen on Broadway’ production.
The 68-year-old star received a Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre in honour of his critically acclaimed show .
Amid the spoken part of his performance, Springsteen dwelt on growing up “surrounded by God and all my relatives” in the US, explaining that people did their best to resist the “demons, outside and inside, that sought to destroy them”.