In a surprising turn of events, actor Robert De Niro has accused Apple of censoring his speech at the Gotham Awards. De Niro claims that an Apple employee removed portions of his speech that were critical of Donald Trump and the entertainment industry. (via. The Verge)
De Niro was set to present the Gotham Historical Icon and Creator Tribute to Martin Scorsese at the awards ceremony. However, just minutes before the show began, De Niro discovered that his speech had been edited. The actor was reportedly told that the changes were made at the request of the filmmaking team behind Scorsese’s new film, Killers of the Flower Moon.
De Niro was not happy with the edits and decided to read the original version of his speech from his phone. In his speech, De Niro criticized the entertainment industry for its complicity in whitewashing history and its lack of diversity. He also took aim at Trump, calling him a “charlatan” and a “liar.”
After delivering his speech, De Niro said that he would not be thanking Apple or the Gotham Film & Media Institute for their role in the censorship. “I don’t feel like thanking them at all for what they did. How dare they do that, actually.” De Niro said.
Apple has denied De Niro’s accusations, claiming that the incident was a misunderstanding. The company says that multiple versions of the speech were created and that it was unaware that De Niro had not approved the final draft that was uploaded to the teleprompter onstage. The Gotham Film & Media Institute has also denied any involvement in the censorship. The institute says that it is committed to freedom of expression and that it would never censor an artist’s work.
However, additional reporting by Variety has shed more light on the incident. According to Variety’s sources, an alleged Apple employee uploaded the edited version of the speech to the teleprompter just minutes before the awards ceremony began. The person reportedly identified herself as an Apple employee.
Variety also reports that two Apple employees emailed the teleprompter company with a revised speech script later that evening. De Niro was not aware of the changes, and it is unclear whether he would have approved them.
The incident has sparked a debate about censorship and the role of corporations in media and arts. Some people have applauded De Niro for standing up for his beliefs, while others have criticized him for being unprofessional.
It is unclear whether any action will be taken against Apple or the Gotham Film & Media Institute. However, the incident is sure to raise awareness about the issue of censorship and the importance of protecting freedom of expression.