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NYC Play Appears to Depict Trump Assassination

NYC Play Appears to Depict Trump Assassination

U.S. President Donald Trump addresses the Faith and Freedom Coalition's ''Road to Majority'' conference in Washington, U.S., June 8, 2017. | (PHOTO: REUTERS/KEVIN LEMARQUE)

A play in New York City is being criticized for appearing to depict President Donald Trump's assassination by women and minorities, and as a result two of its sponsors, Delta Air Lines and Bank of America, have announced they are revoking the sponsorship.

The protagonist, depicted in fluffy hair, a dark suit and tie hanging below the belt, in this year's "Shakespeare in the Park" play, put up by The Public Theater, resembles President Donald Trump.

The production, though called "Julius Caesar," also shows the lead actress with a Slavic accent.

The protagonist in the play, "Julius Caesar," is shown being stabbed to death with blood staining his white shirt.

The play has been in previews since May 23, and is scheduled to to open Monday at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park.

Donald Trump Jr., a son of President Trump, criticized the play. "I wonder how much of this 'art' is funded by taxpayers? Serious question, when does 'art' become political speech & does that change things?" he tweeted.

"Shakespeare in the Park does not reflect Delta Air Lines' values," the sponsor announced Sunday, according to Washington Examiner. "Their artistic and creative direction crossed the line on the standards of good taste. We have notified them of our decision to end sponsorship as the official airline of The Public Theater effective immediately," Delta wrote on Twitter.

"The Public Theater chose to present 'Julius Caesar' in a way that was intended to provoke and offend," Bank of America spokeswoman Susan Atran said, according to The New York Times. "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 Times is also a corporate sponsor of the The Public Theater.

However, a spokeswoman for The Times was quoted as saying that the company, which has sponsored Shakespeare in the Park for 20 years, would not change course. "As an institution that believes in free speech for the arts as well as the media, we support the right of the Public Theater to stage the production as they chose."

Gregg Henry, who plays the role of "Julius Caesar," said last month, "I think the correlations between Julius Caesar and our current president are, you know, not exact in many many many ways. Julius Caesar was a general of great import in the world and an innovator and a great leader in many ways. But he became drunk with ego, drunk with power, drunk with ambition and the belief that he and he alone must rule the world."

Oskar Eustis, the play's director, claims that the play does not endorse the assassination.

"Julius Caesar can be read as a warning parable to those who try to fight for democracy by undemocratic means," Eustis was quoted as saying. "To fight the tyrant does not mean imitating him."


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