Two-time Oscar-winner Robert De Niro didn’t mince words while addressing the Brown University graduating class on Sunday. The acclaimed actor has long been a vocal anti-Trumper, and De Niro took his sentiments to the podium where, in addition to orating a sublime commencement speech, he received an honorary doctorate of fine arts.
In speaking to the most recent crop of graduates from the Ivy League school, Robert De Niro compared the United States of America to a couple of different movie genres. According to De Niro, once upon a time, the U.S. was “an inspiring uplifting drama.” Now, however, Robert De Niro proclaimed America turned into nothing more than “a tragic dumb**s comedy.”
On top of his scathing words, and while not mentioning Trump directly, De Niro was quick to remind that graduating class that the nation’s transition from “uplifting drama” to “tragic dumb**s comedy” happened recently. As in, in less than the time it takes to get a college education. According to Robert De Niro, when the 2017 college grads began their Ivy League education, things were looking pretty promising. Now? Not so much.
“When you started school, the country was an inspiring, uplifting drama. You are graduating into a tragic, dumb**s comedy. My advice is to lock the Van Wickle Gates and stay here. But if you do leave, work for the change. Work to stop the insanity. Start now so the Class of 2018 will graduate into a better world.”
As Brown News reports, 73-year-old Robert De Niro encouraged grads to “work for change,” and start to do so immediately. According to De Niro, the dedicated efforts of the Class of 2017 could make the world a better place for next year’s graduates.
As Fox News reports, Robert De Niro’s harsh words regarding the current state of the U.S. came just one day after he spoke publicly about the current “nightmarish” political climate and even called Donald Trump an “idiot.” Not that De Niro’s weekend Trump-bashing and less-than-motivational commencement words were the first time he’s bagged on Donald. Over the course of the Trump campaign, Robert De Niro became one of the most vocal anti-Trump celebs in America.
@MichaelDelauzon De niro is a disgrace to the Italian people. He should should stick with making movies. Acting = faking. He is in the make-beleive biz
— Dr. Huxtable (@hookerstrangler) May 30, 2017
-GREAT speech by DeNiro!????
— Melissa Chandler (@kealohalanichun) May 30, 2017
@davidcicilline Great what? Actor? Maybe…
Great thinker? Obviously not.
Political pundit? No, he's a liberal tart.
— John Reynolds Jr (@justus331) May 29, 2017
— Kathryn Schneider (@Penchant4Facts) May 30, 2017
Last October, De Niro launched a video attack calling then-candidate Trump a litany of insulting names and claimed that the former reality TV star “doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”
“[Trump is] a punk, he’s a dog, he’s a pig, he’s a con, a bulls*** artist, a mutt who doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”
Just before Trump unexpectedly pulled off a White House victory, Robert De Niro once again called out the soon-to-be POTUS in a celebrity endorsement video for Hillary Clinton. In an outtake for that video, De Niro said that he wanted to “punch [Trump] in the face.”
So far, he hasn’t acted on his desire.
— Towleroad (@tlrd) May 30, 2017
While some might find De Niro’s Sunday Brown University commencement speech off-putting and possibly even out of left-field, it’s not the first time that the Anger Management star has had some less-than-inspirational words for a graduating class. As The Hollywood Reporter reports, Robert De Niro addressed NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts graduates back in 2015. In that commencement address, De Niro said that the graduating class who had chosen a future in the arts sans logic and reason. As such, according to De Niro, ” You’re an artist — yeah, you’re f****d. The good news is that’s not a bad place to start.”
“A new door is opening for you — a door to a lifetime of rejection. It’s inevitable. I hear that Valium and Vicodin work!”
Likening the political climate to a "tragic, dumbass comedy" honorary degree recipient Robert De Niro exhorts grads to "work for the change" pic.twitter.com/MSCjwG4v4U
— Brown University (@BrownUniversity) May 29, 2017
As for the Brown University Class of 2017, Robert De Niro wasn’t the only commencement speaker at the ceremony to paint a less-than-rosy picture of the future. Hamilton actor Daveed Diggs strongly urged the grads to work cultivated new ideas, “because the old ones have made a mess of things.”
What do you think of Robert De Niro’s Brown University commencement comments? Was he right on the money or out of line? Let us know in the comments below.
[Featured Image by Greg Allen/Invision/AP Images]