The Public Theater in New York City lost two sponsors Sunday due to controversy surrounding its rendition of William Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar,” which includes the gory assassination of a ruler who resembles President Trump.
Delta Air Lines (DAL) and Bank of America (BAC) pulled their support following criticism on social media. The play has come under fire from Fox News and one of Trump’s sons.
“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,” the airline said in a tweeted statement. “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, which noted in its statement that it has had an “11-year partnership with The Public Theater and Shakespeare in the Park,” announced that it was pulling funding from the production.
“The Public Theater chose to present ‘Julius Caesar’ in a way that was intended to provoke and offend,” the company said in a statement on Twitter on Sunday. “Had this intention been made known to us, we would have decided not to sponsor it. We are withdrawing our funding for this production.”
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. It features a Julius Caesar who has blonde hair and dresses in a suit and long tie rather than a toga.
The Public Theater did not immediately respond to a request for comment on this story. Read more at CNN.