New York City’s Public Theater has reportedly lost two sponsorships, one from Delta Air Lines and another from Bank of America.
The sponsors pulled out after a Shakespeare In The Park production of Julius Caesar, a “contemporary” take on the classic play, which depicted an apparently Donald Trump-inspired main character who is graphically stabbed to death on stage.
“Bank of America supports art programs worldwide, including an 11-year partnership with The Public Theater and Shakespeare in the Park. The Public Theater chose to present Julius Caesar in a way that was intended to provoke and offend. Had this intention been made known to us, we would have decided not to sponsor it,” a spokesperson told New York Daily News.
“No matter what your political stance may be, the graphic staging of Julius Caesar at this summer’s Free Shakespeare in the Park does not reflect Delta Air Lines’ values,” a Delta Airlines spokesperson said.
“Their artistic and creative direction crossed the line on the standards of good taste. We have notified them of our decision to end our sponsorship as the official airline of The Public Theater effective immediately.”
Breitbart previously reported the Oskar Eustis-directed play had sparked controversy as its main character had a striking resemblance to the President. The character wears a business suit and tie, has blonde slicked back hair and his wife sports a Slavic accent.
Other sponsors of the New York City’s Public Theater include The New York Times and American Express.
The New York Times has come out in support of the play, naturally, and tries to give a different perspective.
“Its depiction of a petulant, blondish Caesar in a blue suit, complete with gold bathtub and a pouty Slavic wife, takes onstage Trump-trolling to a startling new level,” the ‘review‘ says of the play.
“Even a cursory reading of the play, the kind that many American teenagers give it in high school, is enough to show that it does not advocate assassination. Shakespeare portrays the killing of Caesar by seven of his fellow senators as an unmitigated disaster for Rome, no matter how patriotic the intentions.”
On The Public Theater’s website the director, Oskar Eustis said the production should not be taken literally, although he does sound quite politically motivated.
“Julius Caesar can be read as a warning parable to those who try to fight for democracy by undemocratic means,” said Eustis. “To fight the tyrant does not mean imitating him.”