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Corporate Sponsors Drop Trumpian 'Julius Caesar' over Assassination Scene

Delta and Bank of America announced they'd no longer be supporting the Shakespeare in the Park play, in which a Trump-like Caesar is murdered.
Drew Schwartz
Brooklyn, US
Photo courtesy of the Public Theater

About halfway through Shakespeare in the Park's rendition of Julius Caesar, a roomful of Roman senators stab a Donald Trump lookalike to death. Now, after angry Twitter users slammed the New York play as "disgraceful" and "disturbing," Delta and Bank of America have pulled funding from the show, the New York Times reports.

In a chain of tweets, Delta—which made the first move—said that "no matter what your political stance may be," Shakespeare in the Park's "graphic" adaptation of Caesar didn't comport with the airline's values. The airline company announced it would terminate its sponsorship of the Public Theater—Shakespeare in the Park's parent organization—as the group's official airline effective immediately.


"Their artistic and creative direction crossed the line on the standards of good taste," the statement read.

A few hours later, Bank of America released its own statement, announcing that though it'd be pulling funding from Caesar, it would maintain its financial partnership with the Public Theater.

Those criticizing the production—Donald Trump, Jr. among them—said the show endorsed the murder of a sitting president (or even advocated for it), and argued that the play would face widespread condemnation if it depicted former president Barack Obama being murdered. But that already happened.

Others have come out showing support for the theater's adaptation, citing the importance of free speech and the fact that—though actor Gregg Henry might look, talk, and act like Trump—this is still a play from the 16th century. Not to mention that after Caesar dies, everything in Rome goes to shit.

"Julius Caesar can be read as a warning parable to those who try to fight for democracy by undemocratic means," director Oskar Eustis wrote in a note about the production. "To fight the tyrant does not mean imitating him."

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