After a raging controversy about his speech at the Gotham Awards, actor Robert De Niro has now set the records straight. The stir concerns the speech he delivered while accepting the Historical Icon & Creator tribute for the cast and crew of ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’.
After receiving the award attributed to the dazzling success of the recent Martin Scorsese movie, De Niro had claimed that a significant part of his speech was omitted without his knowledge. The actor has now clarified that it was a misunderstanding, after director Martin Scorsese also issued a clarification statement.
Apple Had Asked Robert De Niro To “Dial Down” His Gotham Awards Speech
Narrating the whole string of incidents, Robert De Niro said he was working on the speech with a writer, Lewis Friedman, and his consultants. “One of the consultants had put something in the speech about how kids in Oklahoma aren’t even able to read the book ‘Killers of the Flower Moon‘,” he said.
“And then I didn’t hear anything. They gave me the script, and I looked at the prompter, and I asked after, ‘What happened?’” the actor said.
The problem started when he saw the speech on the teleprompter at the ceremony and noticed some discrepancies from what was agreed upon. “They assumed that I would be OK with it, and maybe I’m still getting it wrong, and I wasn’t,” he explained while speaking with Rolling Stone in a recent interview.
The ‘acclaimed ‘Killers of the Flower Moon‘ actor also clarified that director Martin Scorsese had texted him to dial down the intensity of the speech. “Marty and I spoke about it the next day and he said, ‘Yeah, I had sent you a text, and [Apple] asked if you could dial it down, respectfully.’”
“The beginning of my speech was edited, cut out, and I didn’t know about it. And I want to read it,” he said. Reading out the cut out part, De Niro said, “History isn’t history anymore. Truth is not truth. Even facts are being replaced by alternative facts and driven by conspiracy theories and ugliness. In Florida, young students are taught that slaves were taught skills that could be applied for their personal benefit.”
The veteran actor also spoke about Donald Trump, with whom he has a long history of public spats. He said, “Now, this guy is beyond dangerous, and I just hope people can realise it. Once you go down that road, it won’t be easy to come back.”
Martin Scorsese Clarified The Actual Reason Behind Editing De Niro’s Speech
Recalling what he thought when he realized he was wronged, De Niro said he did not “feel like thanking them at all for what they did”. “How dare they do that, actually. But now I will go to accepting the award,” he recalled himself as thinking.
Though De Niro stuck with the speech on the teleprompter during the awards function, he called out Apple for cutting out his speech. The air cleared only after Scorsese issued a statement.
Martin Scorsese clarified to EW that the speech was indeed cut out because of time constraints, and not as an attempt to censor content. “We all wanted to make sure that in the limited time available, the acceptance speech had space to acknowledge our Osage collaborators on-stage and at home, as well as our entire cast and filmmaking team,” the statement by Scorsese said.
“Apple has been a tremendous partner and there was no censorship,” the statement read. “There was an unfortunate miscommunication regarding the final version of the speech. The event was a beautiful moment for our cast and collaborators to be reunited for the first time since the strikes. It was an incredible honor to receive this recognition,” it concluded.
You might also like to read: The Truth Behind Martin Scorsese’s Hit Film ‘Killers Of The Flower Moon’