Robert De Niro has said he is worried that the Trump administration will turn the clock back on inclusivity in the United States.
The Oscar-winning actor spoke to The Guardian about his fears of what the rise of intolerance means for his six mixed-race children.
He said: “When you see someone like [Trump] becoming president, I thought, well, OK, let’s see what he does—maybe he’ll change. But he just got worse.
“It showed me that he is a real racist. I thought maybe as a New Yorker he understands the diversity in the city but he’s as bad as I thought he was before —and much worse.
“I worry, and one of my kids is gay, and he worries about being treated a certain way. We talk about it.”
— Robert De Niro on his gay son
“It’s a shame. It’s a bad thing in this country.”
De Niro added: “I worry, and one of my kids is gay, and he worries about being treated a certain way. We talk about it.”
The actor continued: “[Trump is] a con artist. He’s a huckster. He’s a scam artist. And what bothers me is that people don’t see that. I think that The Apprentice had a lot to do with that, which I never saw but once, maybe.
“It’s all smoke and mirrors, it’s all bullshit.”
The actor is a prominent critic of Trump and a long-time supporter of LGBT+ rights.
Robert De Niro’s dad was gay
In 2014 the actor opened up about his gay father, saying he wished they had spoken about his sexuality more.
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De Niro was speaking to Out magazine ahead of the launch of a documentary about his dad, the artist Robert De Niro Sr, who died in 1993.
On his father’s sexuality, De Niro said: “I was not aware, much, of it. I wish we had spoken about it much more.
“My mother didn’t want to talk about things in general, and you’re not interested when you’re a certain age.
“Again, for my kids, I want them to stop and take a moment and realise that you sometimes have to do things now instead of later, because later may be 20 years from now — and that’s too late.
“I wasn’t with him a lot, because my mother and he were separated and divorced. We were not the type of father and son who played baseball together, as you can surmise.”
Speaking about his decision to use the documentary to come out for his father, he said: “I felt I had to. I felt obligated. It was my responsibility.
“I think it’s time. I thought about it, of course, but if you’re going to do something, you have to do it all the way. You can’t hide anything.
“That’s the whole point — the truth. That’s what people are attracted to. I should have done this 10 years earlier, but I’m glad I did it now.”
On his own lack of gay acting roles throughout his career, De Niro said: “They weren’t offered to me. If they had been offered to me by a good director, that’s something I would have considered.”