Earlier this week Delta and Bank of America pulled their sponsorships from New York’s Shakespeare in the Park over a current production of Julius Caesar in which Caesar is depicted in modern menswear and blond hair. As we all know, the play ends with "Et tu, Brute?" as Caesar is stabbed to death by multiple assassins, including his friend Marcus Brutus.
Delta Airlines tweeted:
“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.”
Bank of American kept it sweet and short and simply stated: "We are withdrawing our funding" in the tweet text, while an image attached elaborated: "Bank of American supports arts programs worldwide, including an 11-year partnership with The Public Theater and Shakespeare in the Park. The Public Theatre chose to present Julius Caesar in such 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
The New York Times, who recently published a "fake news" ad campaign as self-promotion, has announced that they will not withdraw their sponsorship.
"We have sponsored Shakespeare in the Park for 20 years. As an institution that believes in free speech for the arts as well as the media, we support the right of the Public Theater to stage the production as they chose."
Photo credit The Public Theater NY Instagram account