Delta, Bank of America Pull Funding From Theater Over Play in Which Trump Lookalike Is Murdered

  1. Home
  2. Culture Wars
By Joe Simonson | 3:55 pm, June 11, 2017

The Public Theater in New York City’s Central Park is facing backlash over its rendition of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar because its lead, the ancient Roman ruler later murdered, bares a striking resemblance to President Donald Trump.

In this interpretation, Caesar sports a business suit, American flag pin, and a similar reddish-blond hairdo as America’s present commander in chief, according to Fox News.  In the third act, Caesar is stabbed and murdered by rivals in a political conspiracy.

Supporters of the president have expressed discomfort and outrage over Caesar’s likeness to Trump, and have called out sponsors like Delta Airlines, the New York Times, Bank of America, and American Express for their sponsorship of the The Public Theater.

In a tweet Sunday afternoon, Delta Airlines responded to a user who questioned the airline’s decision to financially back the controversial rendition.

“While Delta is a longtime sponsor of the high-respected Public Theater, we do not condone this interpretation of Julius Caesar at this summer’s Free Shakespeare in the Park,” the airline’s official Twitter account responded.

Shortly after the back and forth on Twitter, Delta announced that it would be  dropping its sponsorship of the production.

“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,” an airline spokesman said in a statement.

Bank of America quickly followed suit, saying that if it knew about the controversial murder, “we would have decided not to sponsor it.”

Gruesome depictions of Trump’s death have sparked major debates over the limits of artistic expression.  In May, Kathy Griffin posed for a photoshoot where she held up a mock-decapitated head of the president.  Griffin subsequently apologized after receiving criticism from across the political spectrum.

Follow Joe Simonson on Twitter.