Bryan Cranston slams Trump in Tonys speech

Bryan Cranston accepts the award for best performance by an actor in a leading role in a play for "Network" at the 73rd annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on Sunday, June 9, 2019, in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
Bryan Cranston (Credit: Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

Bryan Cranston took a strip off Donald Trump last night as he accepted the gong for best lead actor at the annual stage awards, the Tonys.

The Breaking Bad star is currently playing the role of Howard Beale in the Broadway production of Oscar-winning movie Network. A biting satire on the world of media and manipulation, Cranston's character, a veteran news anchor, begins to lose his mind, becoming a firebrand polemicist. His network then exploits his rants on the air to capitalise on soaring ratings.

Accepting the award, he thanked his wife and the cast and crew on the hit play, before turning his remarks to current events.

Specifically, Cranston targeted Trump's continued attacks on the media, who he has claimed is 'the enemy of the people'.

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“Howard Beale is a fictitious TV news man who found his way in the line of fire because of his pursuit of the truth,” he said.

“I would like to dedicate this to all of the real journalists around the world, both in the press, the print media, and also the 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.”

Bryan Cranston, center, and cast appear at the curtain call for the Broadway opening night of "Network" at the Belasco Theatre on Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018, in New York. (Photo by Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
Bryan Cranston (Credit: Greg Allen/Invision/AP)

Trump is frequently referred to as a demagogue by his critics, whipping up his supporters often by appealing to prejudices and exploiting fear.

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Cranston has been more charitable about Trump in the past, chastising those wishing for his failure.

After he took the presidency, he told The Hollywood Reporter: “President Trump is not the person who I wanted to be in that office, and I’ve been very open about that. That being said, he is the president.

“If he fails, the country is in jeopardy. It would be egotistical for anyone to say, ‘I hope he fails.’ To that person I would say, f**k you. Why would you want that? So you can be right?”