Sponsors Can't Stomach Violent, Trump-Inspired Julius Caesar

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Another sponsor, Bank of America, inserted a statement in the edition of Playbill distributed during Sunday night's Tony Awards in NY reading: "While Bank of America values the right to artistic expression, they do not condone this summer's interpretation of "Julius Caesar" and its depiction of political violence in a modern context".

Delta Air Lines announced via a series of tweets that it would be pulling its sponsorship of The Public Theater "effective immediately" because the company put on a production of "Julius Caesar" in which the central character mirrors President Donald Trump - until he is stabbed falling on stage with a blood-covered chest.

The Public Theater's artistic director, Oskar Eustis, said on the organization's website that the production, which he reminds people does not include any new lines, is about "how fragile democracy is", warning it can be "swept away in no time at all".

Only in this version, the man playing Caesar is wearing a suit, a red tie, and has blonde hair, which has led some to believe that the intent was to show a theatrical version of Trump being assassinated on stage.

Shakespeare's play deals with the historic event of Julius Caesar's assassination in 44BC. One attendee recently told Mediaite that the character's resemblance to Trump made the assassination scene particularly "shocking and distasteful".

The play, which has been in previews at New York's Delacorte Theater in Central Park and officially opens on Monday, is a contemporary take on the Shakespearean masterpiece.

Both Delta Air Lines and Bank of America have ended their sponsorship of the production, which Delta said had "crossed the line on the standards of good taste".

Messages seeking comment from The Public Theater weren't immediately returned.

However, Green says that the production may leave some theatergoers, including those "who loathe Mr. Trump", to wonder if it has "gone too far".

"Shakespeare's play, and our production, make the opposite point: those who attempt to defend democracy by undemocratic methods pay a bad price and destroy their republic". The theater, which has performed Shakespeare in the Park for almost 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.

After Delta and Bank of America pulled their support for the play, some social media users pushed back. Prior to the corporate withdrawals, the businessman-turned-political mouthpiece tweeted his disapproval of the show. "Serious question, when does 'art" become political speech & does that change things?"

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