Robert De Niro had some choice words for Donald Trump at Saturday night’s GLAAD Media Awards in New York.
De Niro was honored at the event for producing Remember the Artist, an HBO documentary about De Niro’s father, who was gay. While accepting the award for Excellence in Media from GLAAD and presenter Jennifer Lawrence, the 72-year-old actor mocked Trump, but not by name, and those who think there is discrimination in America against white men.
“You think you’ve got it bad, [LGBT] community? I don’t think you know what it’s like to be really discriminated against,” De Niro said. “I recently turned on the television news and saw this odd guy with little hands, and he was, like, raving. Turns out the ones being discriminated against are straight, middle-aged white men.”
De Niro joked that he understood the prejudice because he had recently lost out on roles to “what used to be called ‘diversity actors'” like Michael B. Jordan, John Boyega, Nathan Lane, and Jennifer Lawrence.
“The one that really hurts was seeing the role of Dr. Dre in Straight Outta Compton go to Corey Hawkins,” De Niro joked. “And I can’t remember the last time I got a Teen Choice Awards. And who knows how many Nobu [restaurants] I might have opened if I weren’t the victim of systemic prejudice. You should only know. It’s not easy being a straight white man. But if you have to be, it’s better when you’re in the arts or media or entertainment.”
De Niro closed his speech by getting serious, and calling out the North Carolina bathroom law that discriminates against trans men and women. “As an actor, I don’t judge the characters I play. As a person, I don’t judge the characters I play with,” he said. “I was fortunate to grow up in an atmosphere where freedom of expression in art and in life were the norms. And now, we have to look outside our bubble to the world where — because of religious beliefs or ignorance or mean-spiritedness — it’s not so easy.”
He added, “It’s been quite a year. A landmark decision for marriage equality. But also new, repressive laws like the ones in North Carolina that let us know the struggle continues, and challenges us to be vigilant and aggressive in all our rights. I’m happy to be part of a community that is so active in this quest.”
Watch De Niro’s speech below.