Robert De Niro’s introduction of best actress winner Meryl Streep at Tuesday’s National Board of Review awards gala went a little sideways as the topic of President Donald Trump came up.
An outspoken critic of Trump, De Niro could not help but notice parallels between the story of Streep’s new film, The Post, and our current political reality. “It was fascinating to watch The Post,” De Niro explained. “That story took place nearly 50 years ago, but there are many parallels today, obviously.” He then turned his attention to the president. “This f—ing idiot is the president,” he lamented. “It’s The Emperor’s New Clothes: The guy is a f—ing fool.”
De Niro continued on, calling Trump “our baby-in-chief” and “the jerkoff-in-chief” who “has put the press under siege,” repeatedly tying Trump’s actions to what goes on in The Post. De Niro later said, “The movie gave us glimpses of President Nixon as delusional, narcissistic, petty, vindictive, nasty, and bats–t f—ing crazy.” He then quipped, “Ah, the good old days.”
Streep stars in The Post as Katharine Graham, the Washington Post publisher who steered the newspaper toward its decision to publish the Pentagon Papers, in defiance of the Nixon administration. Directed by Steven Spielberg, it’s been pitched as a response to the newly the tense relationship between the executive branch and the free press. In addition to Streep’s victory, the film also won best picture and best actor (Tom Hanks) from the National Board of Review.
De Niro’s speech was transcribed by The New York Times‘ Sopan Deb.