Robert De Niro has opened up about the ‘scary’ experience of raising biracial children in the US, and called for change in the nation’s police departments.
The Oscar-winning actor recently appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, where the pair discussed the current pandemic gripping countries around the world, as well as the Black Lives Matter movement in the wake of George Floyd’s death.
The Irishman and Goodfellas star called out US president Donald Trump’s handling of the outbreak, while also commenting on the need for further police training amid complaints of racially-prejudiced brutality across the country.
You can check out De Niro’s chat with Fallon in the video below:
De Niro has six biracial children: daughter Drena, 48, and son Raphael, 44, who he shares with ex-wife Diahnne Abbott. With ex Toukie Smith, he shares sons Julian, 24, and Aaron, 24. From his previous marriage to Grace Hightower, he shares son Elliot, 22, and daughter Helen, eight.
When asked by Fallon if he’s had any conversations with his kids regarding race, De Niro explained there’s some things ‘even I take for granted’.
The 76-year-old said:
When people say that they tell their kids: ‘Keep your hands when you’re stopped by anybody or cops, keep your hands on the steering wheel, don’t make a sudden move, don’t put your hands below, don’t do this,’ you understand that.
That’s scary. That has to change… a lot of people have been saying the cops have to help in the community and have a sensitivity, and there are good cops of course who have that already. But there are some who don’t, and they shouldn’t be there.
With regards to the pandemic, while De Niro concedes he’s fortunate to be in a comfortable place, he criticised Trump for not listening to the ‘people in the intelligence community who kept telling him something was coming… this whole thing could have been avoided’.
De Niro added:
What scares is me is people were just afraid to tell him the truth, and if you tell him the truth he’s gonna be mad at you and let you go… it’s like a crazy relative. You avoid arguing with them because they’re gonna go crazy… but they run the country! You have to tell them.
In a heartwarming moment, De Niro praised the function of films in times of adversity. ‘That’s what movies do, they bring people together and you realise and see – as corny as it all sounds – that we’re all together, we’re all human beings’.
De Niro will next appear in Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon alongside Leonardo DiCaprio, due to be released in 2021.
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CreditsThe Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon/YouTube
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon/YouTube