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Delta & Bank of America Have Pulled Funding From The NY Public Theater Over A Trump Comparison In ‘Julius Caesar’

Spoiler alert: At the end of Shakespeare’s play, Julius Caesar is assassinated.

But some would like to see a happier ending — or at least a toga-clad Caesar — in a new production opening Monday night in which the protagonist sports a modern business suit and blond hair — details that make him look suspiciously like a certain somebody.

 Complaints by Donald Trump Jr., among others, that the staging hints at the assassination of the president have prompted corporate sponsors to yank their funding for the New York Public Theater, whose Shakespeare in the Park productions are a venerable New York tradition.

The exodus was led by Delta Airlines, which announced Sunday that it was withdrawing as the Public Theater’s official airline. “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 Airlines’ values,” the carrier’s statement said. “Their artistic and creative direction crossed the line on the standards of good taste.” – LA Times

The Tragedy of Julius Caesar is a 400+ year old play by William Shakespeare. It is not a play about Donald Trump. Yes, the character of Julius Caesar looked like and wore the same wardrobe as Trump, but to claim that this play is about Trump is show an alarming amount of ignorance. While people are quick to lash out and demand all funding be pulled from the NY Public Theater, it’s highly likely that they didn’t do any research on the thousands of different performances of this play. Back in 2012, a stage company in Minnesota put on an Obama inspired production of the play. Delta was a sponsor of that play. Again, this is a play that is over 400 years old that will most likely relate to every man or women in power until the end of time. This is a play about democracy, and how fragile it is when the wrong people are in power. As Twitter quickly pointed out, comparing Caesar to a sitting President is not a new trend:

It shouldn’t be surprising that Trump and his supporters are trying to put handcuffs (whether literally or figuratively) on the Arts. Back in March Trump planned to cut the Funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to zero and also eliminate funding for the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. In all instances, Trump was the first US President to propose these cuts. When corporate sponsors like Delta and Bank of America make decisions like this, it looks bad from all angles, especially when you’re talking about the play JULIUS CAESAR. One more time – the play is over 400 years old. I know Trump and his supporters want the world to revolve around them and their views, but that’s not how life works.

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