Upon receiving the Screen Actors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award, iconic American actor, producer and director Robert De Niro, who received a long standing ovation as he took the stage for his speech, used the acceptance speech to highlight the importance of speaking truth to power.
To begin with, De Niro expressed his appreciation for the SAG (a workers union for actors) and for his fellow actors, “As actors, we can’t do it alone. We rely on each other.” He went on to encourage voters to support candidates who support unions themselves.
“Political leaders who support unions are more likely to support affordable care act, equitable taxes, humane immigration regulations, a safe environment, a diverse citizenry, reproductive rights, sensible gun control and fair wages and benefits,” he said. “We owe them our support and we owe them our vote.”
“I can imagine some of you are saying, ‘All right, all right, let’s not get into the politics,’ but we’re in such a dire situation, so deeply concerning to me and to so many others, I have to say something,” De Niro, and received rousing applause from the audience in response.
Toward the end of his speech, the Godfather trilogy icon said he had as much right as anyone else, to assert his right to voice his opinion. “If I have a bigger voice because of my situation, I’m going to use it whenever I see a blatant abuse of power,” said De Niro.