People who have clearly never read Julius Caesar are angry about The Public Theatre's new Trump-inspired production of the Shakespearean classic after discovering that the show depicts a gruesome assassination of the titular character. This is why you should have paid attention in 10th grade English, folks.
This production opens on Monday at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, and instead of featuring togas and laurel wreaths, depicts a Trump-esq Caesar with a particularly long neck tie and distinctively bad hair. Caesar's wife, Calpurnia, also strikes a resemblance to first lady Melania Trump, and according to CNN, speaks with a Slavic accent in this production.
In the play, audiences watch as Caesar is betrayed and murdered by his right-hand man and other congressmen, uttering the famous line "Et tu, Brute? Then fall, Caesar!" before succumbing to his injuries.
However, the violence in Julius Caesar is not celebrated, although Caesar is a bit of a power-hungry prick. The play is much more about the repercussions of Caesar's murder, and how Rome suffers in the aftermath of the stabbing. If anything, it clearly shows that assassinating a leader, even one who really, really sucks, is a very bad idea. The play examines the power of free will, the fragility of democracy and the influence that one person can have over a large group of people. It does not condone violence against figure heads. Come on people, you had 418 years to read the play before you started complaining about it on Twitter.
The President's eldest sons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump feigned rage and slammed the play over Twitter, which ironically seems to directly negate their pro-free speech and anti-PC agenda. Sorry, boys, but Shakespeare in the Park is not a "safe space."
Come on, people. This is Shakespeare! Either someone cross-dresses or someone gets stabbed—that's just how these things go.
After getting pressure from Trump supporters, two of Shakespeare in the Park's 12 sponsors decided to pull funding from the production.
Bank of America tweeted this statement to confirm that they are ending their 11-year partnership with the annual free theatre event.
Delta also announced that they are withdrawing funding through a series of tweets:
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. 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.
Et tu, Delta?
Of course, Twitter had some feelings about the whole debacle.
It is also worth noting that a similar production of Julius Caesar was put on in 2012 by The Acting Company in New York, but this show centered around an Obama-inspired Caesar. It was hailed by right-wingers like blogger Noah Millman, who wrote this glowing review for The American Conservative.
Either way, all the controversy will probably bring in audiences to The Delacorte this summer, making those impossibly long lines to snag a seat even longer. You can find more information on the play here.