This year’s SAG Awards show had its share of politically charged moments. Lifetime achievement award recipient Robert De Niro, a fierce critic of Trump, said he would continue to speak out.
“We’re in such a dire situation, so deeply concerning to me and to so many others, I have to say something.
There’s right and there’s wrong, and there’s common sense, and there’s abuse of power. And as a citizen, I have as much right as anybody, an actor, an athlete, a musician, anybody else, to voice my opinion.
And if I have a bigger voice because of my situation, I’m going to use it whenever I see a blatant abuse of power.”
His speech comes at a critical political moment, as Trump has officially been impeached by the House of Representatives on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Trump now faces potential removal from office, as the Senate began his impeachment trial this past week.
De Niro also praised performers’ union SAG-AFTRA for “tirelessly working” on actors’ behalf, saying,
“That especially bears remembering these days when there’s so much hostility towards unions.
We owe them our moral support, and we owe them our vote.”
But the most intense drama took place before the telecast. De Niro was initially barred from coming into the Shrine Auditorium. (He forgot his ticket on the floor of his limousine.) After security asked him a few questions, he was allowed to take his seat.
All he to say was,
“You talkin’ to me? You talking’ to ME…?”