March 23rd, 2012
03:03 PM ET

Robert De Niro responds to joke controversy

Robert De Niro is sorry he’s not sorry.

“No, no I don’t apologize,” the actor told CNN regarding a joke he made at an Obama for America fundraiser earlier this week.

Prior to Michelle Obama’s introduction at the fundraiser, De Niro joked: “Callista Gingrich. Karen Santorum. Ann Romney. Now do you really think our country is ready for a white first lady?”

“I think it was silly, and I’m sorry it had to go that way,” De Niro added. “It was ridiculous, and everyone knows that. So, that’s it. That’s all I have to say about it. Nonsense.”

Campaign Press Secretary to the First Lady Olivia Alair called the joke “inappropriate” in a statement, while Newt Gingrich said De Niro’s quip was “inexcusable.”

Filed under: Celebrities

soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. Leigh

    I love DeNiro. He is truly one of the greatest actors of all time.

    March 26, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  2. rp

    iIts comedy, no apology needed. glad he stood his ground.

    March 24, 2012 at 11:20 pm | Report abuse |
  3. carrieanne

    Now lets see. I know my violin is around here somewhere...

    March 24, 2012 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Lulu

    Robert DeNiro is great! He has every right to take on the crazies like little Newt (also brain fogged pill users like Glenn and Rush). How ridiculous is Newt to take on the Godfather? Poor Newt thinks he is relevant , and no one is listening. DeNiro also marries his black women friends, and seems like a good father to his children.

    March 24, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
  5. tom

    Why do the GOP and right wing nuts have to pounce on every word that is said by the Dems? The EXACT same question was aked repeatidly back in 2008 when Obama was running? Is America ready for a black first Lady? Is America ready for a black president.....WHY is is so innapropriate to ask the same now? Double standard as usual by the hate mongers...GOP and Teabaggers who still can't stand the fact that a black man and woman are living in the While House.

    March 24, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
  6. JGN

    DeNiro is absolutely right. Did he offend the horrible Republican party choices? Awwwwww. Heart not bleeding for them. As for him being older and that being some sort of sin, ha! Just you wait Henry Higgins. If you're not too stupid to live (which you might well be) you'll get there. He's still hotter than anyone else around, in sooo many ways.

    March 24, 2012 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  7. Ken the country ready for a white first lady? And why should we care what Mr. "Get a job right after you take a shower" Gingrich about inexcusable. This country needs to mellow out, take a meditation course, have a zen moment. Stop taking ourselves so seriously...

    March 24, 2012 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
  8. jayburd2020

    Newt Gingrich is so committed to taking race out of the First Lady role that he courageously married a minority. Callista is a true inspiration to albinos everywhere. She proves that if you really put your mind to it, anyone can break up a Top 1% White marriage. (Probate attorney not included.) Speaking of political estates, I wonder when was the last time President Obama looked into what's going on at his Chicago home. For a humorous look, check out this funny YouTube video:

    March 24, 2012 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
  9. RamblinRosie

    It's Robert F'n DeNiro. The man is a legendary filmmaker and actor. Very smart & politically savvy individual. Did he say something that was not well-received and offended some? Sure. People are too sensitive nowadays and want everyone to be politically correct. Who gets to decide what is crossing the line? And when did everyone who gets caught on an audio or video recording suddenly become accountable to every person who might be within earshot? What a bunch of the-world-owes-me crybabies in this country. I don't know when everyone got so touchy and started pointing fingers, but it's ridiculous.!

    March 24, 2012 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
  10. Maggie

    People are mean on here. Wow talk about elder abuse! Man makes a joke and you have to attack him because of his age! Mean people!

    March 24, 2012 at 7:28 am | Report abuse |
  11. pkiula

    US really is becoming a crazy place. He made a joke. It was marginally funny, but not really a laugh riot. It was made in a context. Show's over. Go get yourselves a life.

    March 24, 2012 at 4:57 am | Report abuse |
  12. Pam Harrington

    Oh my God people

    March 23, 2012 at 11:50 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Bobby

    Oh good. So its ok to make racial jokes again and not apologize or be crucified by the lefty media? Terrific, How do u starve a black guy?

    March 23, 2012 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
  14. LBM

    I can remember a time when you could make a joke...even a lame one...and not get crucified. I miss those days.

    March 23, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Mark

    The government should do something about old people like him and Eastwood. Maybe put them in a home or something. Old folks are always up to no good.

    March 23, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Maggie

      Mean people like you should be locked up. Bet you cant wait till you family and friends put you in a home ...oh wait you probably don't have any friends. Mean people suck!

      March 24, 2012 at 7:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      I'm not mean I'm carribean. Us Jamaicans are kind to everyone. We are people liking folks. We like to make silly jokes.

      March 24, 2012 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Curious Cat

    How come DeNiro only dates black women? Must be a fetish of some kind...

    March 23, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frank Mondana

      Why does it have to be weird?

      He's Italian, like me, and we tend to not care as much about skin color as you do.
      BTW, he's married to that woman and has been for a long time.

      March 23, 2012 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Jeff H.

    I don't mind old people but why do they have to walk so slooooooooo. When we go to the mall, those ancient decrepit slugs just shuffle along, sometimes with their adult diapers full of poo. It is just gross.

    March 23, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Dave in Portland

    Both De Niro and Eastwood would probably still kick your punk @$$es. Such tough guys through the internet. What are you guys, like 14?

    March 23, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Bill

    Wouldn't it be cool to watch him and Clint Eastwood fight?

    March 23, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Ted

    Looks like he has some drool or slobber running down his chin in that photo. They must have forgotten to put the bib on him.

    March 23, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Ultra Man

    I wonder if the poor old codger is wearing his depends? I doubt he even remembers his own name.

    March 23, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • samsag

      It was a joke silly. When the media (Fox News) says awful things about the President and his wife, we don't take them serious. Even Mitt Romney's wife thought it was a joke. Get a life and stop criticizing Mr. De Niro. You only wished you could be as successful as Mr. De Niro is. Just saying!!!

      March 23, 2012 at 10:54 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Nick

    I just don't get the joke. Is it funny or in bad taste? It just sounded lame to me. Poor ol guy needs to go back to the nursing home before they miss him.

    March 23, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      It was in reference to when Obama was running for President and every speaker, media outlet, etc...would say "is America ready for a black President?" or "Is America ready for a black First Lady". It was a tongue in cheek joke that oversensitive people made WAY too much of it. I'm glad he didn't apologize. There really is no need. If anyone was offended by it, you really need to get over yourselves and get a life.

      March 23, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hollywood Reporter

      March 25, 2012 at 12:37 am | Report abuse |
    • no, you need to get out more

      it is a silly and funny joke. no not the greatest joke ever, but Gringrich et al have made much worse (and really that can just be taken as true with out the 'examples' follow up question).

      to think a fund raiser joke taken up by loser gringrich as a last gasp to make hay before his campaign goes down in flames, pathetic

      so blatantly pathetic that of course DeNeiro shouldn't apologise for it, nor Obama's pr people

      much worse has also been said at the presidents press dinner, I expect this pathetic behavior from gringrich and so I am not surprised, hopefully he will not waste our time with running again, even maybe with tv, just retire

      March 25, 2012 at 6:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Trevor

      DeNiro has more juice than you ever will – and doesn't need to go to a home. You on the other hand...

      March 25, 2012 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      It isn't wise to speak ill of the don.

      March 26, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • CARV

      @Nick – "I just don't get the joke. Is it funny or in bad taste? It just sounded lame to me. Poor ol guy needs to go back to the nursing home before they miss him."

      You don't get the joke, so its his fault? That's a pretty interesting take on semantics.

      March 27, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |

Post a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

About this blog

Our daily cheat-sheet for breaking celebrity news, Hollywood buzz and your pop-culture obsessions.