Robert De Niro has award withdrawn after calling Donald Trump 'monster' outside trial

Robert De Niro speaking outside a New York courtroom (AFP via Getty Images)
Robert De Niro speaking outside a New York courtroom (AFP via Getty Images)

Robert De Niro has been denied an award after calling Donald Trump a “clown” and a “dictator” in a speech outside the former President’s “hush money” trial.

The actor, 80, said that Mr Trump would “never leave” office if he won the upcoming November election in an emotional address outside the New York city courtroom on Thursday.

A New York jury found Mr Trump guilty of falsifying business records in a scheme to illegally influence the 2016 election through hush money payments to adult film actress Stormy Daniels, who said the two had sex.

"We've forgotten the lessons of history that showed us other clowns who weren't taken seriously until they became vicious dictators," De Niro said.

"With Trump we have a second chance and no one is laughing now. This is the time to stop him by voting him out once and for all."

De Niro was speaking at an event outside the courtroom organised by President Joe Biden’s campaign.

The actor is a longtime Democrat and recently voiced an ad for Mr Biden.

The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) decided to rescind an offer to award De Niro with the Leadership Foundation's Service to America Award following his comments. He had been due to receive the award on Tuesday.

A spokesperson said the event was “proudly bipartisan, uniting those from across the political spectrum to celebrate the impactful work of local broadcasters and our partners”.

They added: “While we strongly support the right of every American to exercise free speech and participate in civic engagement, it is clear that Mr De Niro's recent high-profile activities will create a distraction from the philanthropic work that we were hoping to recognise.

"To maintain the focus on service of the award winners, Mr De Niro will no longer be attending the event."

De Niro told The Hill that he respected the NAB’s decision, adding: “I wish them well for their continued good work.”

Mr Trump is the first former US president to be convicted of a criminal offence.

He has dismissed the trial, without evidence, as “rigged” and maintains his innocence.