Delta and Bank of America cancel NYC theater funding over Trump murder scene
Delta Air Lines and Bank of America have withdrawn their financial support from NYC’s Public Theater over the group’s production of Julius Caesar. [AmEx Update!]
The retrofitting of the classic Shakespeare play features a Trump look-alike as Caesar, and a Melania stand-in (complete with Slavic accent) playing his wife. The play ends with a brutal, bloody assassination of the Trump impersonator.
Delta Air Lines was the first to withdraw corporate sponsorship after a sustained outcry on social media. The company made the announcement in a series of tweets that in whole read, “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. 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 shortly followed suit. “Bank of America supports art programs worldwide, including an 11-year partnership with The Public Theater and Shakespeare in the Park,” a spokeswoman told the New York Daily News. “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.”
Remaining sponsors include American Express, The New York Times, Time Warner Foundation, as well as a host of charitable trusts and public agencies.
[ UPDATE ] June 12 | 9:30am PDT
American Express issued a statement this morning that can only be described as Orwellian double-speak. AmEx’s position is that their sponsorship of The Public Theater does not directly fund the Shakespeare in the Park production. A transparent attempt to appease both sides of the controversy. AmEx added that it does not “condone the interpretation of the Julius Caesar play”. They just sponsor the parent company that does condone the interpretation.