Two major financial backers have stopped funding New York’s Public Theater over its production of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, whose lead has been compared to Donald Trump.
Delta Air Lines and Bank of America both backed out of deals with the theater following pressure from right wing media and the President's son, Donald Trump Jr.
Following critical coverage on Fox News, Trump Jr. questioned the role of taxpayer money in the production.
“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 company said in a statement obtained by the New York Times.
“Their artistic and creative direction crossed the line on the standards of good taste,” the company said. “We have notified them of our decision to end our sponsorship as the official airline of the Public Theater effective immediately.”
Similarly, Bank of America will no longer help finance Julius Caesar. However, its financial relationship with the theater will continue outside of the production.
“The Public Theater chose to present Julius Caesar in a way that was intended to provoke and offend,” a spokesperson for the bank said. “Had this intention been made known to us, we would have decided not to sponsor it. We are withdrawing our funding for this production.”
Julius Caesar is due to open tonight, June 12, at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park as part of the Public Theater’s free Shakespeare in the Park festival.
Representatives for The Public Theater were not immediately available for comment.