In this May 21, 2017, photo provided by The Public Theater, Tina Benko, left, portrays Melania Trump in the role of Caesar’s wife, Calpurnia, and Gregg Henry, center left, portrays President Donald Trump in the role of Julius Caesar during a dress rehearsal of The Public Theater’s Free Shakespeare in the Park production of Julius Caesar in New York. Teagle F. Bougere, center right, plays as Casca, and Elizabeth Marvel, right, as Marc Anthony. (Joan Marcus/The Public Theater via AP)
In another example of "tolerance", the Shakespeare In The Park theater group in New York has decided to this year's performance should be Julius Caesar. That's all well and good, but instead of placing it in ancient Rome, they decided to do the play in a modern setting, which is also fine. Where they crossed the line is making Caesar look like President Donald Trump. Because, you know, love trumps hate, so let's pretend to kill someone we hate... I mean who is hateful.
What amazes me is the level of hypocrisy here. I mentioned this a couple weeks ago when some "grown adults" attacked Barron Trump for being traumatized by the Kathy Griffin image holding President Trump's severed head. The same people who would be completely (and rightfully) outraged over the portrayal of Obama being killed or the bullying of his children seem to think it's completely acceptable to do to the Trump family.
But these actions aren't without consequences. AP reports:
Delta Air Lines and Bank of America have announced that they are pulling their sponsorship of a Manhattan-based theater company’s portrayal of Julius Caesar as a Donald Trump look-alike in a business suit who gets knifed to death on stage.
Atlanta-based Delta released a statement on Sunday saying it was pulling its sponsorship from The Public Theater “effective immediately.”
“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,” the statement said. “Their artistic and creative direction crossed the line on the standards of good taste.”
Later Sunday night, Charlotte, North Carolina-based Bank of America said it was withdrawing its funding for the production.
“The Public Theater chose to present Julius Caesar in such a way that was intended to provoke and offend,” the bank said in a tweet. “Had this intention been made known to us, we would have decided not to sponsor it.”
Remember that the office of President is bigger than the man/woman/non-binary-pandakin who occupies it. The death of the President is always a tragedy. If President Trump becomes the tyrant that Shakespeare's Caesar is believed to be, then he needs to be removed through the systems we already have in place. At this point though, he hasn't done anything to warrant removal from office.
Can we please stop wishing death on someone just because we disagree?
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