Film star Robert De Niro spoke out against U.S. President Donald Trump at an event in Toronto on Monday, just hours after he slammed Mr. Trump with a four-letter insult at the Tony Awards.
Mr. De Niro was sharing a stage with Toronto Mayor John Tory at the groundbreaking ceremony for a downtown condo-hotel project being launched by the Nobu restaurant chain, a business in which Mr. De Niro is a partner.
In his remarks, Mr. De Niro echoed his anger at Mr. Trump from the night before – but this time, with a G rating.
“I just wanted to make a note of apology for the idiotic behaviour of my President,” Mr. De Niro said, as the crowd assembled for the event cheered. “It’s a disgrace. And I apologize to Justin Trudeau too and the other people in the G7. It’s disgusting.”
The mayor, in his remarks at the event, also addressed Mr. De Niro’s comments: “Sir, with regard to the comments in the news today, I have only two words to say: Thank you.”
Pausing for laughter, the mayor carried on: “Thank you of course for investing in Toronto.”
Mr. De Niro’s comments came after Mr. Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminum from Canada and other U.S. allies and his subsequent personal attacks on the Prime Minister, whom he called “dishonest” and “weak,” derailed the weekend’s Group of Seven summit in Charlevoix, Que.
Monday’s Nobu groundbreaking ceremony included the 700-unit project’s lead developers, the Madison Group, Nobu executives and their renowned chef Nobu Matsuhisa. The mayor, Mr. De Niro and other dignitaries walked onto a stage set up in front of the site, near John Street and King Street West, to the pounding of Japanese Kodo drummers.
Speaking to reporters afterward, Mr. Tory attempted to distance himself from Mr. De Niro’s comments about Mr. Trump at the Tony Awards in New York on Sunday night.
On stage at the event honouring Broadway’s best plays and performers, he issued a direct, vulgar insult at Mr. Trump, raising his fists. His remarks earned the actor a standing ovation, but were censored on network television.
Mr. Tory did say the actor asked him how his comments would be received in Canada and noted that Mr. De Niro clearly has strong views.
“A lot of people will be applauding what he had to say today, but I am not going to wade into all of that,” Mr. Tory said.
Mr. Tory said the Canada-U.S. relationship was one of the most successful in all of human history and that the tensions must eventually sort themselves out: “ I just think this kind of thing really has no place between and among friends.”
The mayor was also asked about political tension closer to home, between him and Ontario’s next premier, PC Leader Doug Ford, a politician who had been poised to challenge Mr. Tory for a rematch for the mayor’s job earlier this year.
The mayor, who has been consistently diplomatic and cautious in his comments about Mr. Ford in recent months, said he looked forward to working with Mr. Ford on transit and other issues, as he had done with other politicians of all stripes.
“This is just part of my job to forge effective partnerships with these people to get things done,” Mr. Tory said, adding that he had a “constructive, cordial telephone conversation” with Mr. Ford on election night.