Advertisers are cutting ties from “Shakespeare in the Park,” a New York play that depicts a President Trump-like Julius Caesar being assassinated.
Two major corporate sponsors, Bank of America and Delta Airlines, have cut ties from theater organization The Public Theater following widespread backlash.
The reimagined “Julius Caesar” play tells the story of the leader assassinated by Roman senators over fears he’s become too tyrannical, but instead of the original ancient Roman setting, Caesar and his wife are depicted as Donald and Melania Trump, with Trump being brutally stabbed to death by minorities and women at the end.
“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 company spokesman said in a statement.
“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.”
Bank of America released a similar statement, saying the play “was intended to provoke and offend,” and they “would not have decided to sponsor it” had they known beforehand.
Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr. also took to Twitter to condemn the play.
“I wonder how much of this ‘art’ is funded by taxpayers? Serious question, when does ‘art’ become political speech and does that change things?” Donald Trump Jr. tweeted Sunday.
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
Despite the backlash, the mainstream media has doubled down on their hatred of Trump by praising “Shakespeare in the Park,” with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria calling it “a masterpiece.”
“If you’re in NYC, go see Julius Caesar, free in Central Park,” Zakaria tweeted May 31.
If you're in NYC, go see Julius Caesar, free in Central Park, brilliantly interpreted for Trump era. A masterpiece: https://t.co/RiJJnW3g8V
— Fareed Zakaria (@FareedZakaria) May 31, 2017
“Brilliantly interpreted for Trump era. A masterpiece!”
The New York Times has also defended the play, calling it simply “free speech.”
“We have sponsored Shakespeare in the Park for 20 years. As an institution that believes in free speech for the arts as well as the media, we support the right of the Public Theater to stage the production as they chose,” stated the Times.
Their decision to support the play should come as no surprise considering CNN’s extensive history of Trump-bashing, such as a former CNN host Reza Aslan calling Trump a “piece of sh*t.”
Former CNN correspondent and comedian Kathy Griffin also received swift ire for holding up a mock decapitated blood-covered Trump head in an ISIS-style performance just weeks ago. CNN fired her less than 48 hours after the stunt.