Delta Air Lines and Bank of America have pulled their sponsorship from New York’s Public Theater. The backlash came after a recent showing of Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” play by the theater included The Roman emperor depicted as President Donald Trump being assassinated.
In the play, Roman senators fear Caesar had become power hungry, so they stab him to death.
“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,” Delta Airlines statement on Twitter.
“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.”
Delta Airlines typically donates between $100,000 and $499,000 annually to the New York Public Theater.
Bank of America for its part announced a few hours after Delta that it too would withdraw its sponsorship of the show. “The Public Theater chose to present ‘Julius Caesar’ in a way that was intended to provoke and offend,” said Ms. Susan Atran, a spokesperson of the bank. “Had this intention been made known to us, we would have decided not to sponsor it. We are withdrawing our funding for this production,” she added.
The Public Theater has released a statement defending the act, saying that it depicts: “how fragile democracy is,” adding that it highlights how the “institutions that we have grown up with can be swept away in no time at all.”