While accepting the award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play for his role in Network on Sunday, he defended the media — and took a jab at Donald Trump.
“Howard Beale is a fictitious TV newsman who found his way in the line of fire because of his pursuit of the truth,” said Cranston, 63, of his character, a hard-nosed news anchor of Walter Cronkite’s generation. “I would like to dedicate this to all the real journalists around the world, both in the press — the print media — and the broadcast media, who actually are in the line of fire with their pursuit of the truth.”
Cranston then added, “The media is not the enemy of the people. Demagoguery is the enemy of the people.”
There were loads of reactions, including thanks from journalists:
— Andy Ostroy (@AndyOstroy) June 10, 2019
— Susan Kroll (@suekroll) June 10, 2019
“The media is not the enemy of the people - demagoguery is the enemy of the people.” Thank you @BryanCranston for these words and for your mesmerizing performance in #Network. Amazing last performance last night.
— Kathy English (@kathyenglish) June 10, 2019
— Roma Torre (@RomaTorreNYC) June 10, 2019
Congratulations @BryanCranston and thank you for reminding the world of what genuine journalists do every day. “The press is not the enemy of the people.” Damn straight. @pressfreedom #tonyawards @CBS
— Kathleen Carroll (@kathleencarrll) June 10, 2019
— RebeccaSolomonTV (@RebeccaRSolomon) June 10, 2019
"The media is not the enemy of the people. Demagoguery is the enemy of the people." THANK 👏 YOU👏Bryan👏Cranston👏 #TonyAwards
— Rebecca King (@RebeccaKingNJ) June 10, 2019
— Preet Bharara (@PreetBharara) June 10, 2019
Though people are awaiting a Trump tweet reply.
— Joni Newman (@jonimnewman) June 10, 2019
Backstage, the Breaking Bad alum expounded on his comment. He said it’s “absurd” to think that the media is the enemy — what Trump has been pushing with his “fake news” comments.
“The opposite message has to continue to be put out there, whether it’s diversity, whether it’s the fight against media, whether it’s women’s reproductive rights, whether it’s voting rights, it’s important to keep sounding the alarm,” Cranston said.
Cranston, who previously won a Tony in the same category for All the Way in 2014, has been outspoken about Trump — and landed on the president’s radar for it. Trump shared a video, made by a fan, of some of Trump’s critics. It included Cranston.
He said soon after he was disappointed he didn’t get one of Trump’s bizarre nicknames.
Cranston had some other memorable one-liners at the show. He started off his speech by quipping, “Wow — finally a straight old white man gets a break,” which received a lot of laughs. He was also in the opening with host James Corden and dropped, “I am bloated as hell and I’m not gonna take it anymore!” which was a reference to the most famous line from the movie Network, from which his play was adapted.
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