On Sunday night, the 73rd Tony Awards were held at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, and unlike last year, when Robert DeNiro launched a profanity-laced tirade against President Trump, there was little to no political commentary.
That is, with the main exception of Bryan Cranston. When he was named Best Leading Actor in a Play for his role in Network, he used the occasion to criticize President Trump, albeit in a much more subtle, indirect and classy way.
He first cracked what seemed to be a sarcastic joke: “Wow. Finally, a straight, old white man gets a break!”
Then he said, “Howard Beale is a fictitious TV newsman who found his way into the line of fire because of his pursuit of the truth, and I would like to dedicate this to all the real journalists around the world…in the print media and also broadcast media, who actually are in the line of fire with their pursuit of the truth. The media is not the enemy of the people. Demagoguery is the enemy of the people. Thank you very much, good night.”
This was interpreted as a criticism of Trump and his relentless attacks on the fourth estate.
The play Network was based on the 1976 film of the same name, in which on-air journalist Howard Beale, dealing with declining ratings, starts expressing his anger at the ills of society and becomes more sensationalistic. It was considered one of the greatest films of all time, and not only because it won four Academy Awards and four Golden Globes. It was also seen by some, such as screenwriter Aaron Sorkin and political satirist Stephen Colbert as a harbinger of the future of the news media.
Also at the Tony Awards on Sunday, Celia Keenan-Bolger, who won Best Performance by a Featured Actress for her role in To Kill A Mockingbird, also gave a bit of her own commentary.
“I grew up in a neighborhood where my grandparents had a cross burned on their front lawn because they were being welcoming to black families that were integrating into the neighborhood,” she said. “They raised my mother and her siblings alongside those families and when my mother met my father, instead of moving to the suburbs, they raised me and my brother and my sister in that same neighborhood.”
Robert is a native of Santa Monica, CA and graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology. He always keeps his fingers on the pulse of America and is deeply committed to the ideal that every American deserves access to liberty, equality, justice, and opportunity.