On The New Yorker website Monday, staff writer Rebecca Mead chimed in with “In Defense of the Trumpian ‘Julius Ceasar’.” On the other coast, the headline for Los Angeles Times columnist Michael Hiltzik’s latest reads, “Cowardly Delta Air and BofA Bail on Shakespeare, Showing the Folly of Corporate Sponsorhip of Art.” (Hiltzik can add American Express to his dishonor roll.)
It’s media bedlam on all sides, starting with some right-leaning fomenters stirring things up over the weekend on social media, framing the decision by Delta and Bank of America to sever their apportioned sponsorship of the Julius Caesar production. The New York Times, on the other hand, has proudly reconfirmed its backing of this modern-day artistic filtering of the Roman Empire, while the New York Daily News canvassed Manhattan residents in the park, headlining them as outraged:
“I’m very disappointed at a couple of big donors that decided not to fund it,” said an Upper West Side resident named Leslie, who didn’t give her last name. “It’s art, what do they expect?”
Another named Allen Rubenstein, 75, slammed the corporations’ actions as “censorship,” while a Williamsburg student named George Edwards called their decisions “ridiculous.”
Over here, a Fox News pronouncement by a former Secret Service agent. Over there, James Woods applauding Bank of America’s decision. Fast, furious and destined to continue right up to tonight’s premiere performance. The Public Theater’s latest Shakespeare in the Park free offering has been in previews since May 23.