Donald Trump Jr. blasted a “Shakespeare in the Park” play sponsored by the New York Times and other corporations that depicts the assassination of a character that resembles President Donald Trump.
“I wonder how much of this ‘art’ is funded by taxpayers,” Trump Jr. tweeted Sunday along with a link to a story about the play. (RELATED: NYT Is Sponsoring An Assassination Depiction Of Donald Trump)
“Serious question, when does ‘art’ become political speech & does that change things,” he added. (RELATED: Don Jr. Hits Back After Kathy Griffin Joked About Beheading Trump)
I wonder how much of this “art” is funded by taxpayers? Serious question, when does “art” become political speech & does that change things? https://t.co/JfOmLLBJCn
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) June 11, 2017
According to the Public Theater’s corporate sponsorship page, the play is sponsored by NYT, Bank of America, American Express and Delta Airlines.
“While Delta is a longtime sponsor of the highly respected Public Theater, we do not condone this interpretation of Julius Caesar at this summer’s Free Shakespeare in the Park,” the official account for Delta tweeted Sunday in response to questions about their involvement.
While Delta is a longtime sponsor of the highly-respected Public Theater, we do not condone this interpretation of… 1/2
— Delta (@Delta) June 11, 2017
…Julius Caesar at this summer’s Free Shakespeare in the Park. *AJR 2/2
— Delta (@Delta) June 11, 2017
Guy Benson said on “Fox & Friends” that it’s probably not a coincidence that the Trump-like character is married to a woman with a “Slavic accent” and shown being stabbed to death by women and minorities.
“This is so incredibly in poor taste that I’m surprised they haven’t cast Kathy Griffin frankly in the production,” Benson said.
Adding later, that though he finds the play is “not a subtle statement” about the “assassination of a sitting U.S. president,” he’s “not a big fan” of the outrage and “boycotts over speech we don’t like.”
Hours later, Delta announced that they were pulling funding from the theater over the Julius Caesar play, followed by Bank of America who announced plans to cut funding from the show.
“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,” a statement from the company read. “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 supports art programs worldwide, including an 11-year partnership with The Public Theater and Shakespeare in the Park,” a message posted on the official Twitter account for Bank Of America read. The Public Theater chose to present Julius Caesar in a way that was intended to provoke and offend. Had this intention been made known to us, we would have decided not to sponsor it. We are withdrawing our funding for this production.”
We are withdrawing our funding pic.twitter.com/MlaONF82FN
— Bank of America News (@BofA_News) June 12, 2017
Update: This story has been updated to reflect Delta’s announcement to withdraw funding from the theater and Bank of America’s plans to cut funding for the play.