Robert De Niro Honored at GLAAD Awards
Jennifer Lawrence praised Robert De Niro in a heartfelt speech as she presented him with a gong at the GLAAD Media Awards on Saturday.
The actress, who starred alongside De Niro in 2012’s Silver Linings Playbook and last year’s Joy, presented the veteran actor with the Excellence in Media honor at the star-studded ceremony organized by GLAAD, a non-governmental media monitoring organization founded by LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) people. As she began her speech at the New York event, Lawrence joked, “Robert De Niro is not gay, so I don’t know why we’re here.”
The X-Men: Apocalypse star continued: “The most important thing he’s taught all of us is acceptance. Bob is the kindest person I’ve ever met. His heart is so giving and with his own quiet strength, it’s no wonder that this man and the incredible organization that is GLAAD would come together tonight.”
Taking to the stage, De Niro used his acceptance speech to take a swipe at Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, as well as poking fun at Hollywood’s diversity issue.
“You think you’ve got it bad, LGBT community? I don’t think you know what it’s like to be really discriminated against,” he quipped. Referring to Donald Trump, he said, “I recently turned on the television news and saw this odd guy with little hands, and he was raving. Turns out, the ones being discriminated against are straight, middle-aged white men.”
De Niro then joked that he’d lost on many movie roles to the likes of black actors Michael B. Jordan and John Boyega, adding: “It makes sense. I’ve been losing parts right and left to what used to be called ‘diversity actors.” One that really hurts, seeing the role of Dr. Dre in Straight Outta Compton going to Corey Hawkins. And I can’t remember the last time I got a Teen Choice Award… It’s not easy being a straight, white man.”
Finishing his speech with a passionate plea, he pushed the importance of supporting LGBT rights. “As an actor, I don’t judge the characters I play. As a person, I don’t judge the characters I play with. I was fortunate to grow up in an atmosphere where freedom of expression in art and in life were the norms.
“Now, we have to look outside our bubble to the world where, because of religious beliefs or ignorance or mean-spiritedness, it’s not so easy. I’m proud to stand with you. I’m GLAAD,” De Niro said, to huge cheers and applause from the audience.
Mariah Carey was also among the winners at the ceremony, which was hosted by Orange Is the New Black actress Laverne Cox, as she was presented with the Ally Award by Empire co-creator Lee Daniels. Meanwhile, Diane Sawyer’s interview with Bruce Jenner in April last year, in which the former Olympian discussed his decision to transition into Caitlyn Jenner, won the Outstanding TV Journalism award.