The production of William Shakespeare’s ‘Julius Caesar’ running at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, in which a Trump-like Caesar is assassinated, “does not reflect Delta Air Lines’ values,” the former official airline of the theater said in a series of tweets.
…the Park does not reflect Delta Air Lines’ values. Their artistic and creative direction crossed the line on the… 2/4
— Delta (@Delta) June 12, 2017
Bank of America, another one of the organization’s 12 major sponsors, also took the same stance, taking issue with the theater’s decision to “present Julius Caesar in such a way that was intended to provoke and offend.”
We are withdrawing our funding pic.twitter.com/MlaONF82FN
— Bank of America News (@BofA_News) June 12, 2017
The contemporary take on the play, which is running for free at the theater until June 18, moves Caesar’s empire to the US and gives his wife an accent not dissimilar to that of Melania Trump.
A notice on the theater’s website warns that the play “contains the use of violence, nudity, [and] live gunshot sounds.”
The Public Theater’s artistic director, Oskar Eustis, said on the organization’s website that the production, which he reminds people does not include any new lines, is about “how fragile democracy is,” warning it can be “swept away in no time at all.”
Donald Trump Jr took to Twitter to ask “how much of this ‘art’ is funded by taxpayers?” – a question his father’s administration should be better able to answer.
I wonder how much of this “art” is funded by taxpayers? Serious question, when does “art” become political speech & does that change things? https://t.co/JfOmLLBJCn
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) June 11, 2017
Reaction to the production has seen mixed reaction online, with some Twitter users unhappy with it, claiming the producers would never have depicted a scene in which Barack Obama was assassinated.
Julius Caesar production is clearly a wish that Trump be assassinated.
One thing is certain: the producers would never ever do it abt Obama.
— Philip Schuyler (@FiveRights) June 11, 2017
This is sick! When will the Hollywood types learn it is inappropriate to act out the death of our president? https://t.co/tlKf9Cjy3u
— Kayleigh McEnany (@kayleighmcenany) June 7, 2017
Others supported the production and criticized Delta and Bank of America for withdrawing their sponsorship.
— Sinead Keenan (@SineadKeenan) June 12, 2017
Key context completely missing from both headline & piece: It’s Shakespeare’s JULIUS CAESAR. https://t.co/ea5t7kwui1
— Bilge Ebiri (@BilgeEbiri) June 11, 2017
Won’t be flying @Delta anymore. You supported the theatre when they did it to Obama a few years ago…
— Chase Springer (@ChaseCherub) June 12, 2017