Ari'el Stachel, the California-born son of an Israeli-Yemeni father and an Ashkenazi mother from NY, won the award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical for his performance as a romantic Egyptian trumpeter in "The Band's Visit".
While many Tony Awards audience members showed their support for De Niro, some celebs were critical of the remarks on social media.
While the TV audience at home heard silence for a few seconds, viewers did get to listen to the next part of the actor's speech, as he urged the crowd to vote in November's midterm elections and praised Springsteen's political engagement.
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"Do you have any idea how hard it is to get tickets for Bruce Springsteen's show on Broadway? Boy, do we need that now".
The statement in response from CBS: "Mr. De Niro's comments were unscripted and unexpected".
The man behind Angels in America, legendary playwright Tony Kushner, spoke to reporters backstage about De Niro's spirited introduction for Springsteen, the AP reported. "The offensive language was deleted from the broadcast".
While CBS was quick to catch the swear for US audiences, the word wasn't censored during the Australian broadcast.
A noted liberal, he has been critical of President Trump, a Republican, at other show business events, but none with the high profile and reach of the Tony Awards, which salute performances in Broadway theater.