By Jack Rico
In what had to be one of the most bizarre and most controversial acceptance speeches in the history of the Golden Globes, legendary thespian Robert De Niro, who was awarded the honorary ‘Cecil B. DeMille’ award for his lifetime work, quipped, in what seemed bad taste, about the deportation of HFPA organizers, waiters, including Spanish actor and Oscar winner Javier Bardem.
“More Hollywood Foreign Press members would have been here, but they were deported just before the show. Along with most of the waiters… and Javier Bardem,” De Niro said after being presented the award by Matt Damon, earning grumbles from the Hollywood crowd.
“And I hope you all have your papers in order, because Homeland Security will be checking them right after they finish full-body scans of Megan Fox,” De Niro added.
The atmosphere in the Beverly Hilton became cold and dour which left many in the audience puzzled.
When asked backstage what the intention of the jokes were, De Niro said, “I thought this would be more fun for this kind of night.” He obviously raised eyebrows with his ‘humor’.
Robert De Niro squandered a great opportunity to use the forum to thank all those who contributed to his artistic career and inspire a new generation of actors. But instead, the star of classic films such as ‘The Godfather II’ and ‘Taxi Driver,’ used his time on stage to include coarse remarks about immigrants.
I get that Ricky Gervais’ whole comedy repertoire has been built on being malicious and cruel, but what significance did it have for Robert De Niro? For anyone who has ever spoken to him, you know he’s a man of few words. He does not like interviews and barely says anything. So what in heaven’s name was that speech all about?
The aforementioned parts of his speech seemed out of place with what the moment represented and the environment he was in. It was supposed to be special. I wanted to be roused, inspired and galvanized by the man who had built a body of work that will most likely never be repeated again for generations. All I ended up getting was a befuddled look while I winced, squirmed and grimaced at the marring of De Niro, the Hollywood icon.
It was uncomfortable and at moments painful to listen to, but if he keeps on making films like ‘Little Fockers,’ then redemption is a deed that will never arrive.