New York: Veteran actor Robert De Niro, who appeared at the The 72nd Annual Tony Awards to introduce Bruce Springsteens performance of a contemplative, piano-accompanied version of "My Hometown", burst out with two bluntly profane blasts aimed at President Donald Trump.
"I'm just going to say one thing... F**k Trump!" De Niro said at the gala on Sunday night, reports deadline.com.
When the astonished audience broke out into a mix of laughter and gasps, he paused for a few seconds and then followed with: "It's no longer ‘down with Trump. It's f**k Trump!'"
He then pumped both fists.
A spokesperson of the network CBS issued a brief statement: "Mr. De Niro's comments were unscripted and unexpected. The offensive language was deleted from the broadcast."
The network leaned on the bleep button, so none of its viewers heard the unexpurgated version of his remarks. But the live feed of the broadcasts being played in the press room was uncensored, leading to several Tony winners being asked about the head-snapping moment during their backstage press conferences.
"He's Robert De Niro," joked "Angels in America" playwright Tony Kushner.
"Who's going to argue with him?" Later, he offered more serious thoughts, agreeing with De Niro and saying: "This person should not be anywhere near the seat of power."
De Niro now has Broadway bonafides as the co-director of the recent adaptation of his film "A Bronx Tale", so it made sense that he would provide some star power as a lead-in to Springsteen.
The veteran actor, who has traded for decades on his tight-lipped, once-press-shy image, has come out of his shell during the Trump era. The Tribeca Film Festival, which he co-founded, became a platform for several of his anti-Trump broadsides.
The moment quickly made the social-media rounds. There were reports of an uncensored airing in Australia.
Indian actor Ali Fazal supported the uncensored version of the event and tweeted: "Oh man the freedom. I am so jealous! Kudos Australia. Shake off them shackles. Lets breathe the new world order and remove the right wingers.
"It's when people like Bobby DeNiro (Robert De Niro) step up we feel we all have a voice. We can. They owe us that ear. Or we shove it down your drums!"