Delta Airlines and Bank of America pulled out of their sponsorship of New York's Public Theater on Sunday over a production of "Julius Caesar" that reimagines the main character as President Trump.
The man who played Julius Caesar reportedly had blondish hair and was dressed up in a suit and tie while sporting an American flag pin, Fox Newsreported. The post doesn't mention the play is Julius Caesar, which was first performed in 1599 and has always featured Caesar's death. "Had this intention been made known to us, we would have decided not to sponsor it", the spokeswoman added.
In the wake of the controversy, Delta Airlines has reportedly cancelled its sponsorship of the Public Theater, which stages the free productions of Shakespeare in the Park.
"Serious question, when does "art" become political speech & does that change things?" he said.
Author Joyce Carol Oates wrote on Twitter on Sunday that "Delta should not be interfering in a theater's presentations" and urged theater supporters not to patronize the airline.
Bank of America also ended its 11-year association with the Public Theater on Sunday with a spokesperson telling The Daily News that the play "was meant to provoke and offend" and that had "this intention been made known to us, we would have decided not to sponsor it".
Following critical coverage on Fox News, Trump Jr.
"Anyone seeing our production of Julius Caesar will realize it in no way advocates violence towards anyone", Eustis said in a statement.
In addition to the brutal assassination scene, "Julius Caesar" also features a nude scene (the decidedly Trump-like Caesar steps nude from a bathtub).
The Public Theater warns spectators: "Please note: Julius Caesar contains the use of violence, nudity, live gunshot sounds, strobe, herbal cigarettes, haze, and fog". Eustis' statement doesn't directly reference Trump either.
In May, comedian Kathy Griffin posed for a photograph with a fake, bloodied head of the president in her outstretched arm. It is set in ancient Rome, but many productions have costumed the characters in modern dress to give it a present-day connection.
As those familiar with Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar" already know, the play is a fictionalized account of Julius Caesar's life.