Conservative political writer, Cassandra Fairbanks, was the first to point out the similarities. “The play, a contemporary update on the original, does not refer to the president by name – but their Caesar character holds a striking resemblance to Trump and his wife to the First Lady,” Fairbanks wrote. The Trump-esque Caesar, has a familiar blonde hairstyle and wears the president’s signature black coat and red necktie.
The Public Theater’s website also hints at the connection, describing the Trump-Caesar character as being “magnetic, populist, irreverent,” who “seems bent on absolute power.” Anyone familiar with Shakespeare’s work, knows it doesn’t end well for Caesar. In this case, it doesn’t end well for President Trump.
Throughout the play, the character reportedly tweets from his bathtub and appears onstage fully nude “before being stabbed to death by senators as an American Flag stands beside them.” The gruesome scene is a brutal bloodbath. Perhaps more outrageous than the play itself are the corporate sponsors, one of which is…
The New York Times
In addition to the Times, other sponsors of the theater include American Express, Delta Airlines, and Bank of America. However, the latter two have recently pulled their sponsorship. A Bank of America spokeswoman cited the offensive nature of the play. “The Public Theater chose to present Julius Caesar in a way that was intended to provoke and offend,” she said.
Delta, who has sponsored the theater for four years, issued a similar response. “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,” they wrote. Despite the criticism, the theater is standing by the production.
Acknowledging that the play has created “heated discussion,” their statement said “such discussion is exactly the goal of our civically-engaged theater-this discourse is the basis of a healthy democracy.” Funny, we don’t remember there being such a “healthy democracy” when Obama was president.
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