Theater Refuses to Buckle After ‘Caesar’ Trump Criticism

NEW YORK (AP) -

A Manhattan theater is refusing to end production of a show depicting Julius Caesar assassinated as a Donald Trump lookalike with a Slavic wife.

Delta Air Lines and Bank of America have pulled their sponsorship of The Public Theater’s version of “Julius Caesar.” The Public refused to back down on Monday, saying in a statement that its staging has “provoked heated discussion” but that “such discussion is exactly the goal of our civically-engaged theater; this discourse is the basis of a healthy democracy.”

Other defenders included Scott Stringer, the New York City comptroller, who sarcastically tweeted to both Delta and Band of America: “What a mistake. Actually reading Julius Caesar might help in the future. Your copy is in the mail.”

On Sunday, Donald Trump Jr. retweeted a Fox News story about the play and wrote, “I wonder how much of this ‘art’ is funded by taxpayers? Serious question, when does ‘art’ become political speech & does that change things?”

Delta responded by saying “artistic and creative direction crossed the line on the standards of good taste.” American Express said it was not pulling funding but in a statement Monday said, “We do not condone this interpretation of the play.”

Bank of America said: “Had this intention been made known to us, we would have decided not to sponsor it.”