Speed Reads

Things that make you go hmmm

Delta once sponsored a production of Julius Caesar where the emperor looked like Obama

On Sunday, Delta Air Lines yanked its sponsorship of a controversial performance of William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar in New York City, which depicts the titular emperor as a Trump-like figure. The corporate protest took specific issue with the play's famous assassination scene, which was criticized by Fox News for "appear[ing] to depict President Trump being brutally stabbed to death by women and minorities."

But in 2012, Delta Air Lines took no issue with sponsoring an Obama-inspired Julius Caesar performance in Minneapolis, Broadway World has discovered. From a review of that performance:

…Because Caesar is cast as a tall, lanky black man, the Obama inference is a bit too obvious. But it fits, sort of. Like Caesar, Obama rose to power on a tide of public goodwill; like Caesar, there were many in government who doubted Obama's leadership abilities; and now that Obama's first term has failed to live up to the messianic hype, there are plenty of people who — for the good of the country, you understand, not their own glory — want to take Obama down. [MSP Mag via Broadway World]

In fact, many presidents have been depicted in various productions as the betrayed emperor:

Delta said in a statement Sunday that "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 [the company's] values." Bank of America also pulled its funding of the production.