Delta pulls sponsorship of theater company after Shakespeare play is framed as attack on Trump – ANITH
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Delta pulls sponsorship of theater company after Shakespeare play is framed as attack on Trump

Delta pulls sponsorship of theater company after Shakespeare play is framed as attack on Trump

Just a couple weeks after the uproar around Kathy Griffin’s photo of a decapitated President Trump, fresh outrage over a violent depiction of what some believe is Trump has led to a major move by Delta airlines. 

A new production of Julius Caesar at New York City’s annual Shakespeare in the Park event features the classic scene showing Caesar being stabbing death his friend Brutus and others. 

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. 

On Wednesday, Inside Edition posted video footage of the play, and days later Delta, one of the sponsors of the Public Theater, the organization behind the Shakespeare in the Park play, announced that it was pulling its support. In a series of tweets on Sunday, the company outlined why it was pulling out of the event, making clear that the issue was the Julius Caesar play:

“No matter what your political stance may be, the graphic staging of Julius Caesar at this summer’s Free Shakespeare in Park does not reflect Delta Air Lines’ values. Their artistic and creative direction crossed the line on the of good taste. We have notified them of our decision to end our sponsorship as the official airline of The Public Theater effective immediately.”

And while the video footage has been around for days, it wasn’t until Fox News posted its take on the video on Sunday that the outrage from some on social media truly ramped up. 

That take was retweeted on Sunday morning by Donald Trump Jr., leading to thousands of Trump supporters latching on to the news. Hours later, facing mounting pressure from some users on social media, Delta made public its decision to pull its support for the play. 

What has followed is an intense debate both in support of the play as a harmless, standard production of Shakespeare’s 400-year-old work and against it as an attack on Trump. 

For context, it’s important to note that the Public Theater is also where the popular politically themed play Hamilton made its Off-Broadway debut. Given the groundbreaking theatrical work the Public Theater has supported in the past, it doesn’t seem likely that the move by Delta will compel the producers to change anything about its Julius Caesar play. (The Public Theater didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.)

Aside from the possible negative impacts of Delta’s politics-tinged decision with consumers (even if Delta isn’t directly supporting Trump, some consumers unhappy with the president will view this move as exactly that), it now looks like even the world of the arts is under scrutiny when it comes to all things Trump. 

Yes, it’s official, you can’t escape Trump, even during a beautiful, sunny day in a New York City park.

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Anith Gopal
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