Chaplin Award Honoree Robert De Niro (L) and longtime pal Harvey Keitel backstage during the 44th Chaplin Award Gala at David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center on May 8, 2017 in New York City. "For their own divisive political purposes the administration suggests the money from these programs go to liberal elites".
He joked that he did not need to make movies for the rich liberal elite as, 'I've got my restaurants for that'.
De Niro said that Hollywood aimed to make movies that entertained, and they were judged by the critics, the audiences who would pay to see them, and by the awards it received.
The New York Times reported in March the cuts to the arts programs and public broadcasting under President Trump's proposed budget. This is what they now call an alternative fact.
De Niro said on stage that the administration's mean-spiritedness towards art and entertainment is an expression of their attitude and added that people also want and deserve decent wages, a fair tax system, a safe environment, education for their children and a solid healthcare.
The actor further noted that the namesake of his award, Charlie Chaplin, was "an immigrant who probably wouldn't pass today's 'extreme vetting, ' I hope we're not keeping out the next Chaplin".
However, upon entering the event, De Niro did say to one veteran reporter he seemed to know: "You're friends with him".
De Niro also praised his fellow stars, sarcastically describing some of them in words used in the tweets of President Trump.
Stiller, who starred alongside De Niro in "Meet the Parents", said he was "intimidated" by the Oscar-winning honoree.
The Taxi Driver star previously launched into a rant against the businessman while filming a political testimony video =called #VoteYourFuture.
"I hope we're not keeping out the next Chaplin", he told the audience in NY.
'I mean, he's so blatantly stupid. So I'm honoured even to be associated with him.
He told Behar that his comments were "only a symbolic thing", adding that "it wasn't like I was going to go find him and punch him in the face".