Sponsors Pull their Sponsorship Over Onstage ‘Trump’ Stabbing

Delta Air Lines and Bank of America have pulled out of sponsoring the New York City’s Public Theater following a string of criticism that have surrounded a Shakespeare in the Park production of Julius Caesar, a “contemporary” take on the classic play which portrays the assassinated Roman leader as President Donald Trump.

The contemporary staging of the Shakespeare’s play by the New York City’s Public Theater has sparked controversy because of the striking resemblance its lead actor shares with President Donald Trump.  The lead actor of the Oskar Eustis-directed production sports blonde, slicked-back hair and a business suit and tie, just like the American president.  His wife Calpurnia also speaks with a Slovenian accent, similar to that of Melania Trump, the First Lady of the United States of America.

The Trump-like Ceaser was stabbed to death by former associates in the climax of the play.
“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,” the company said in a statement Sunday.

“Their artistic and creative direction crossed the line with 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,” the statement added.

Meanwhile, Bank of America said it was withdrawing from the sponsorship of the play alone, and not the theatre.  A spokeswoman, Susan Atran, said: “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.   We are withdrawing our funding for this production.”

It would be recalled that the Public Theater said the play had “never felt more contemporary” when announcing the production earlier in the year at New York’s Central Park.  The Public Theater also described the Roman leader as “magnetic, populist, irreverent, he seems bent on absolute power”.

The controversial play opened last month and it is expected to run until the 18th of June. This is the first time in many years the play has been staged at Central Park’s Delacorte Theater.