Actor Robert De Niro, 74, made headlines on Friday after comments he made about Hurricane Irma and Donald Trump.
First, De Niro announced that he wishes to rebuild Barbuda after Hurricane Irma. He quickly promised to help rebuild Barbuda after 95% of all buildings on the island were damaged. This promise, along with several other comments, came in an interview with CNN.
The damage in Barbuda is drastic and the island is virtually uninhabitable. Residents are currently left with no power, water, or cell service. And all island residents were forced to evacuate — a total of 2,000. According to De Niro, the island's allure is that it has been only minimally developed, with virtually endless acres of natural earth that have been left untouched by development.
One of De Niro's plans, made before the hurricane, includes pouring millions of dollars into his lavish new resort, which he wants to rename as Paradise Found. By pouring millions into the resort, De Niro hopes to attract more tourism to the secluded island and provide jobs to local islanders. Of course, not everybody is thrilled about the new resort, and not every local wants American tourism to increase on the island. But according to CNN, the idea passed the local vote and the project to revamp Paradise Found is underway.
Pouring money into Paradise Found is made difficult with recent damage caused by Hurricane Irma, which has made the island literally uninhabitable.
Second, De Niro commented on Donald Trump. In particular, De Niro thinks that the border wall is unnecessarily divisive. The country needs to focus on Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, rather than building a border wall, and should also use these natural disasters as an opportunity to gather together regardless of political party or affiliation.
When asked whether elite Hollywood actors living on the West coast should be commenting on politics, De Niro responded: "I understand that people feel that way. I sometimes feel that way and am hesitant to endorse somebody because I feel an elite Hollywood person shouldn't be doing that."
He continued, "But many of us feel that the right thing has to be done. And we really believe that. Someone like Trump doesn't really believe that..."
Although De Niro does not believe that Trump's presidency will succeed, he still remarked that "I hope that it will."
Yes, De Niro was very critical of Donald Trump in the interview, but his comments seem to be a very drastic shift in tone from ones made during the 2016 election cycle when he announced that he'd like to "punch Trump in the face." Compared to earlier statements, then, De Niro's Trump words in this CNN interview were quite calm.
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