Robert De Niro Opens Up About Raising Six Biracial Children
By Rachel McRady
'The Tonight Show'
Robert De Niro is sharing his experience raising biracial children. The 76-year-old actor has six kids, now all adults but one, from three previous relationships, and on Wednesday's The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, he was asked if he spoke to his family about race.
"My children are all half black and I don't have... even me, I take certain things for granted," the Oscar winner admitted, referring to his race. "...When people say that they tell their kids, 'Keep your hands when you're stopped by any cops, keep your hands on the steering wheel, don't make a sudden move, don't put your hands below, don't do this,' you understand that. That's scary. That has to change."
De Niro noted that not all police officers are bad, but added, "Anybody who hurts another person for no reason other than self defense or the defense of other people around shouldn't be doing that job."
The activist and actor talked about people's willingness to protest despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
"We had all the protests and everything going on, rightfully so, people are so angry that they did not care. They said, 'I'm going out anyway,'" he said. "I think a lot of people did wear masks, it seems that way. But that's how angry everybody was."
De Niro shares daughter Drena, 48, and son Raphael, 44, with his ex-wife, Diahnne Abbott. He also has sons Julian, 24, and Aaron, 24, with his ex, Toukie Smith, and son Elliot, 22, and daughter Helen, 8, with his ex-wife, Grace Hightower.
Calls for the end of police brutality and racial injustice have come out in the past few weeks following George Floyd's death. Floyd was a 46-year-old black man who died after a police officer pressed his knee into Floyd's neck. The death inspired people across the country and around the world to publicly protest.
For more on how parents are handling current events, watch the clip below: