Delta de-funds Shakespeare because of a depiction of Donald Trump as Julius Caesar

A production of Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar" featured Donald Trump in the starring role. He dies at the end

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published June 12, 2017 7:35AM (EDT)

 (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

In a year when American airline companies have been receiving scads of terrible publicity, Delta Airlines is opting for the safe route and pulling its funding from Shakespeare in the Park.

The airline is responding to a controversy in which, during their recent production of "Julius Caesar," the Roman emperor was depicted as resembling Donald Trump, according to Vulture. Because there is a scene in which Caesar gets assassinated (of course), this creative decision has stirred up considerable controversy.

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In explaining its decision, Delta tweeted, "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."

They added, "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 contributes even more money to Shakespeare in the Park, is refusing to continue financially supporting this particular production, although it has stopped short of ending its role as the primary sponsor of Shakespeare in the Park, according to Deadline Hollywood.

"The Public Theater chose to present 'Julius Caesar' in a way that was intended to provoke and offend," the bank said in a statement. "Had this intention been made known to us, we would have decided not to sponsor it. We are withdrawing our funding for this production."

This isn't the first time that artists have been criticized for depicting violent fantasies about Trump. Both Kathy Griffin and Snoop Dogg have been at the center of whirlwinds of controversy for their own acts of artistic expression in this regard.

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer at Salon. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012 and was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022.

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Bank Of America Delta Airlines Donald Trump Julius Caesar Partner Video Shakespeare In The Park