Robert De Niro introduces a performance by Bruce Springsteen at the 72nd annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on Sunday. Picture: Michael Zorn/Invision/AP

New York – Oscar-winning actor Robert de
Niro issued an expletive-laden denunciation of US President
Donald Trump during the live television broadcast of the Tony
Awards ceremony on Sunday.

De Niro appeared on stage at New York’s Radio City Music
Hall to introduce rocker and Tony Awards performer Bruce
Springsteen.

“I’m gonna say one thing. Fuck Trump,” De Niro said, without
any preamble.

With the audience of theatre actors, directors and producers
shrieking and rising to their feet in applause, De Niro said: “It’s no longer down with Trump. It’s fuck Trump.”

He did not elaborate on his comment and switched immediately
to a prepared introduction of Springsteen.

“Bruce, you can rock the house like nobody else,” De Niro
said. “And even more important 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.”

The expletive, known as the F-bomb, was bleeped by the CBS
network for millions of television watchers at home.

However, it was heard by those in the audience and
journalists covering the awards show, which honors the best of
Broadway theatre, and it quickly became the top trending item on
Twitter.

De Niro is one of the most respected actors in the United
States with two Oscar wins for “Raging Bull” and “The Godfather:
Part II.”

“Mr. De Niro’s comments were unscripted and unexpected,” CBS
said in a statement. “The offensive language was deleted from
the broadcast.”

The White House did not immediately return a request for
comment.

De Niro, a noted liberal, has been increasingly critical of
Trump, a Republican, at smaller showbusiness events, but none
have the high profile and audience of the Tony Awards.

The Tony Awards show was seen by some six million Americans
last year. 

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