A fan of the president who evidently believes turnabout is fair play responded to actor-director Robert De Niro’s obscene and gratuitous comment about the president at the Tony Awards last week by unfurling a large MAGA banner at De Niro’s the end of “A Bronx Tale.” The play, which is on Broadway, was directed by De Niro.
I would argue that there’s a time and place for everything and that a night at the theater is neither the time nor the place for a political statement. Then again, neither is an awards ceremony, especially when the “political statement” is no more intelligent than dropping an f-bomb.
As has become the norm with any action/reaction in the public sphere, this one ignited musings on Twitter, including this:
The times we live in. At the end of A Bronx Tale, a man turned around and faced the audience to show us how big of a pair he has. He was escorted shortly after. It's sad that people can't enjoy a beautiful show and embrace its unifying message without politicizing it. #broadway pic.twitter.com/6tVN4Qf4d6
— Joe Del Vicario (@joedelvicario_) June 17, 2018
In a subsequent tweet, Joe Del Vicario continued his pocket philosophizing, writing, “People pay for suspension of disbelief to escape our hyper-politicized society. Keep politics outside of the theater, regardless of where you fall on spectrum.”
He was reminded by other Twitter users that in November 2016 the cast of the Broadway show “Hamilton” did pretty much the same thing as the audience member at De Niro’s show. Then-Vice President-elect Mike Pence had stopped by to see the show when Brandon Dixon, the actor who portrayed Aaron Burr, said during a curtain call:
We, sir, we are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us, our planet, our children, our parents or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights, sir. But we truly hope this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and work on behalf of all of us. All of us.
No doubt if De Niro had been there, he would have double down with another f-bomb.
(h/t Thomas Madison)