Mandatory Credit: Photo by Variety/Shutterstock (10540138q) Robert De Niro 'The Irishman' Variety Film Screening Series, Los Angeles, USA - 26 Jan 2020

Robert De Niro on why he thinks his Gotham Awards speech was censored

Robert De Niro found himself at the centre of controversy after his speech at the Gotham Awards left him feeling censored. In an exclusive interview with Rolling Stone, the Taxi Driver star revealed that he was blindsided by changes made to his prepared speech. De Niro explained that a consultant inserted a controversial remark about kids in Oklahoma unable to read “Killers of the Flower Moon” without his knowledge.

Director Martin Scorsese, assuming De Niro was on board, had texted him to tone down the speech. However, the actor was unaware of this request. At the awards ceremony where he accepted the Historical Icon & Creator tribute for Killers of the Flower Moon, De Niro was surprised to find discrepancies between his prepared speech and the teleprompter version.

Expressing his frustration, De Niro criticised the editing, stating, “How dare they do that, actually.” Despite the controversy, Scorsese clarified that the truncation was due to time constraints, not content censorship. In a statement, he emphasised the desire to acknowledge the film’s collaborators and thanked Apple, dismissing claims of censorship as a miscommunication.

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