Delta, Bank of America Drop Sponsorship of NY Theater Group's 'Shakespeare in the Park'

Cortney O'Brien
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Posted: Jun 12, 2017 9:55 AM
Delta, Bank of America Drop Sponsorship of NY Theater Group's 'Shakespeare in the Park'

Delta Airlines and Bank of America are pulling their sponsorship of New York Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park after their political stunt went a bit too far. The theater, which has performed Shakespeare in the Park for nearly 60 years, according to its website, decided that 2017 would be an opportune time to perform Julius Caesar, with President Trump in the title role. For those who know how the play ends, you know that means that Trump will end in a pool of blood.

The New York Daily News detailed the poetic license the Public Theater took in its performance.

The Shakespeare in the Park play tells the story of the leader assassinated by Roman senators over the fear that he’s becoming too tyrannical, but rather than the original setting, the production stages Caesar (Gregg Henry) and his wife, Calpurnia, (Tina Benko) with Donald and Melania Trump lookalikes.
Henry, who already played a Trump stand-in on “Scandal” last year, models his Caesar almost perfectly after the man in the Oval Office. He meets his end after being stabbed to death by women and minorities on stage.

After the graphic performance, Donald Trump, Jr. tweeted that he wasn’t only upset with how the group portrayed his father, but that taxpayers may have had to foot the bill.

Delta released the following statement with their decision to pull out of the event, seemingly agreeing with the president’s son.

“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 Delta spokesman said.

Others are calling for a boycott of the production. Yet, the show's artistic director Oskar Eustis asked critics to please not take the play literally - it's just art.

“Julius Caesar can be read as a warning parable to those who try to fight for democracy by undemocratic means,” he said in a statement to WPIX 11. “To fight the tyrant does not mean imitating him.”