A Trumpian Caesar is too hot for corporations

Et tu, Delta?

The airline has become the latest underwriter of New York’s Shakespeare in the Park to pull its sponsorship over a production of Julius Caesar.

The protagonist was portrayed as a Donald Trump lookalike.

That’s too much for the airline which tweeted its disapproval.

Caesar, of course, is knifed in the third act. Spoiler alert: Cassius and Brutus are responsible.

“I don’t love President Trump, but he’s the president. You can’t assassinate him on a stage,” Laura Sheaffer, a sales manager at Salem Media, who attended the play tells Mediaite.

“Kathy Griffin got so much coverage for what she did, everyone was horrified, so why is no one horrified by this, which is essentially the murder of the President of the United States in front of 2,000 people?” Sheaffer said.

“The performance was well done, and the actors did a good job. It was fascinating to see the parallels between the Trump administration and Caesar’s rule, but murdering the president on stage was just too far,” Sheaffer said.

Delta sponsored a similar Caesar in the Twin Cities during the Obama administration with a presidential theme.

Bank of America also dropped its support.

The show’s director, Oskar Eustis, posted a statement saying it is the “extraordinary quality of Shakespeare’s writing to seem fresh whenever we encounter it again.”

Twitter, of course, provided the hot takes.

Meanwhile, NBC’s Megyn Kelly is giving airtime to Alec Jones, who insists that the Sandy Hook school massacre didn’t happen. The corporate underwriters are quiet on the subject.

The interview will air on Father’s Day.

  • Al

    Oh, please. Trump is not Caesar. Trump is clearly Caligula. Or maybe Commodus.

    • Jerry

      Falstaff

      • Al

        Lear.

        • Jerry

          I see him more as greedy malevolent buffoon than a tragic figure.

          • Al

            I can see that, and I’d argue that that’s the tragedy of it.

    • Rob

      Awesome comment. Am laughing and crying at the same time.

  • Al
  • >>You can’t assassinate him on a stage.<<

    Of course not, it has to be done as a wildcat art installation:

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5ffcc73fed189a5c4a22c43a097ac0b152f96a751147d43363794e429bb7750b.jpg

  • ec99

    Clever casting. Now, how about balancing with an Obama Othello and Hillary Lady Macbeth?

  • MikeB

    Regarding Megyn Kelly and NBC giving Alex Jones a network platform, just awful.

    • Dan

      Just watched the preview, her “oh aren’t you silly” tone about his Sandy Hook claims does not leave me hopeful it will be anything but disgusting.

    • Rob

      She’s just trying to one-up Inskeep for having Steve King on NPR.

  • jon

    I saw Julius caesar at the garage theater last year when the campaign was still going, even at the time the parallels to the trump administration were there… parallels not identicals.

    Saw Lear at the Guthrie this winter… parallels are there too… except two of lear’s kids managed to throw him to the wolves wolves as soon as they got what they wanted… (which only makes me wonder if trumps kids have yet to get what they want…)

  • Jack Ungerleider

    Many years ago I saw a version of Macbeth at Park Square Theater. The director and designers “dressed” the play as if Macbeth and his allies and enemies were biker gangs. They didn’t change the show it is still Macbeth, it still takes place among the moors of Scotland. The characters are just dressed differently than the script calls for. It doesn’t matter that Caesar is dressed in a designer suit instead of a toga or Macbeth in a leather jacket instead of chain mail, the stories are still the same. To claim that this somehow condones the murder of the President implies that the audience is too stupid to understand the difference between life and theater.

    • It’s not the first time Shakespeare has been reinterpreted to envelop contemporary themes. Here’s one recent example; IIRC there was also a recent movie that staged a Shakespeare play in fascist 1930s garb [edited: Richard III, 1995):

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macbeth_(2010_film)

  • kennedy

    Inserting modern personalities into productions of classic theater is nothing new. I’m seeing several references to Obama as Julius Caesar during his presidency, and without much outrage. Perhaps the sensitivity of the current administration to unfavorable coverage will now be extending to include theater. The villains would then include the media, science, and art.

  • Paul

    If you have 3.75 hours to kill and want to go down the rabbit hole with Alex Jones

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZPCp8SPfOM

  • Diane

    I would like to see video of the Obama version…is it violent? If it is then it is equal if not I take issue

    • You know the play, right ? Julius Caesar?

      • Diane

        Ok so you are a, it depends on what is is person. I think you got my drift but to make it easier for you put the word as In front of violent!

        • You’re making a comparison and asking for a degree of violence in a play. What’s your benchmark. It sounds like you’ve already seen the play in New York, yes?

          Is it AS violent as that? I don’t know. I haven’t seen the play in New York. How would you compare it to other performances of Julius Caesar?

          • Diane

            Seems to me you just wish to argue. I made a comment I would like to see video of the Obama Caesar moment to compare the violence. If the Obama stabbing is less violent than the Trump one I take issue. It is just that simple. There is no big secret that the “arts” lean left and they are incapable of presenting art that has no bias towards the right. I would like the media to show both moments and let the people decide what they think instead of being told it is the same.

          • // I would like to see video of the Obama Caesar moment to compare the violence. If the Obama stabbing is less violent than the Trump one I take issue

            I’m asking the question: How are we to compare? Have you seen the play in New York? Can you describe the violence? Do you have a link to the video? I haven’t seen it.

          • Diane

            I saw the video of the Trump scene, the media is telling us that the same thing happened 5 years ago in the Twin Cities. I wish to see the very same scene from that performance. I do not have to see the New York show or the Twin Cities show to compare the same scene, just the scene. I would think the Twin Cities performance would be on video somewhere. But I doubt those who find the Trump scene acceptable want us to compare the two scenes because I would bet that the two will not be comparable in the amount of violence shown towards the two characters.

          • I doubt there is any video since it was at the Guthrie.

            Do you have a link to the video NY. What made it particularly violent, as Julius Caesar goes?

            I can’t say I’ve ever seen Caesar killed nicely.

          • Diane

            I saw it on the news. I am not at all interested in comparing them to the original, since they are an interpretation of said original. I really don’t understand why you seem to have a need to convolute my first statement, it was a statement of how I feel about the subject plain and simple. Nuff said!

          • You said you wanted to compare the two but you didn’t seem to ever want to actually explain how you assess that this was any more violent — in your words — than any other performance of Julius Caesar.

            So, yeah, you really should have just said, “this is worse because it’s Donald Trump and not Barack Obama and I like Donald Trump” and that would have been an honest and fair conclusion.

          • Diane

            You need to go back to this morning. I never compared it to the original. You brought the original into by your snarky remark, It’s J. Caesar. I am just sick to death of the double standard. You need to get a grip because I can not and did not say it was worse because as I stated at the beginning I would like to see the Obama one to compare.

          • You doubted the Obama scene was as violent because the arts scene leans left.

            You obviously lean right. So you are suggesting the NY Caesar is likely worse than the Mpls Caesar.

            What you’re confirming is that how you assess the two plays is colored in part by your politics, which was the original point. That’s how people on both sides assess these sorts of things

            tHAT’S the double standard.

          • Diane

            No I want to compare the two. Your inability to understand a simple statement is amazing. I can’t help how you “interpret” things, especially when you seem to want to gin up an argument. The truth is that the arts lean left, that is not up to debate. If you base my intent on a fact how can that be me making assumptions one way or the other. As I said and you wish to ignore. I want to COMPARE.