Delta and Bank of America have both pulled funding from New York’s Public Theater over a Shakespeare in the Park production of Julius Caesar that depicts Caesar as Donald Trump and his wife Calpurnia as Melania. Of course, the problem being — as anyone familiar with Shakespeare’s 16th century tragedy can tell you — is that the play ends with the Caesar’s brutal assassination. The scene in question can be described as Caesar-Trump being “stabbed to death by women and minorities on stage,” if the parallel wasn’t clear enough already.
For what it’s worth, the Public Theater did issue a warning on the theater’s website for the production, with a note from the theater’s artistic director Oskar Eustis reading: “Julius Caesar can be read as a warning parable to those who try to fight for democracy by undemocratic means. To fight the tyrant does not mean imitating him.”
However on Sunday, shortly after Delta pulled its support, Bank of America released the following statement on Twitter:
Bank of America supports arts 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. We are withdrawing our funding from this production.
The president’s eldest son Donald Trump Jr. also expressed his outrage over the scene, retweeting a Fox News article about the production: