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De Niro calls out ‘blatant abuse of power’ in SAG acceptance speech

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Robert De Niro, who has long been a vocal critic of President Trump, stopped short of calling out the president by name while being honored at the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards late Sunday, but vowed to speak out whenever he sees “a blatant abuse of power.”   

{mosads}“There’s right and there’s wrong, and there’s common sense and there’s abuse of power,” De Niro said shortly after taking the stage.

According to The Associated Press, the “Irishman” star was being presented with a lifetime achievement award by Leonardo DiCaprio, another Hollywood star who has used his platform to take aim at Trump, particularly over climate issues, in recent years.

“As a citizen, I have as much right as anybody — an actor, an athlete, 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,” De Niro said before adding: “That’s all I’m going to say.”

Trump’s impeachment trial on two House-passed charges — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — begins Tuesday in the Senate. 

DiCaprio also reportedly offered praise to De Niro while presenting the famed actor with the award on Sunday, saying: “His specificity in detail and his fearless pursuit of authenticity in his work have influenced not only myself, but entire generations.” 

“He has given us career-long explorations of the human conditions,” DiCaprio continued.

De Niro’s comments come several weeks after Ricky Gervais captured headlines for remarks he gave at the Golden Globes, where he urged celebrities walking away with an award to refrain from political speech.

“If you do win an award tonight, don’t use it as a platform to make a political speech,” he said then. 

“You know nothing about the real world,” the comedian said to the star-studded audience at the 77th annual awards show, adding: “Most of you spent less time in school than Greta Thunberg.”

“So if you win, come up, accept your little award, thank your agent and your god and f— off,” he added then. 


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