Delta ends sponsorship over Trump look-alike killing scene

The Public Theater chose to present Julius Caesar "in a way that was meant to provoke and offend". And while nobody ever mentions Donald Trump by name, the similarities between Caesar and the POTUS are glaringly obvious.

The decision to inject a Trump look-alike into the leading role in "Julius Caesar" is a provocative one, given both the famous assassination scene and a nude scene in the show.

The bank tweeted a statement Sunday night saying it's withdrawing its funding for the Public Theater's production of "Julius Caesar". The chief talking point, however, has been its portrayal of Caesar, played by Gregg Henry, who sports yellowish blonde hair, a Trump-style suit and extra-long red tie, with his wife Calpurnia styled as a sleek Slavic beauty.

"Julius Caesar" is one of the shows at this year's "Shakespeare in the Park" and the characters look eerily familiar.

Henry, who already played a Trump stand-in on "Scandal" past year, models his Caesar nearly perfectly after the man in the Oval Office. Caesar, a Roman leader, comes to a bad end when he is assassinated by fellow politicians fearful of his growing power and tyranny. "I think it's interesting, the analogies between ancient Roman politics and the politics of the United States now ..." If anything, it would seem to be more in line with the network's ethos to take umbrage with the implication that women and minorities don't like Trump, as opposed to being offended by the accuracy of a scenario in which women and minorities don't like a possible Trump stand-in. He meets his end after being stabbed to death by women and minorities on stage.

The Latest on Delta Airlines ending sponsorship over New York City's theater's Trump look-alike assassination scene.

Delta said the play's simulated assassination of President Donald Trump "crossed the line", Deadline reported.

"Please note: Julius Caesar contains the use of violence, nudity, live gunshot sounds, strobe, herbal cigarettes, haze, and fog."

Director Oskar Eustis replaces the Roman's toga and crown for a business suit and golden haircut in a more modern retelling of the classic tragedy. "The institutions that we have grown up with, that we have inherited from the struggle of many generations of our ancestors, can be swept away in no time at all".

The production, which opened May 23 in previews and runs through June 18 at Central Park's Delacorte Theater, has its defenders.

  • Larry Hoffman