Public Theater Defends Its Shakespeare Production Amid Trump Outrage

The Public Theater, which is currently producing an adaptation of William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, on Monday issued a defense of their play after outrage over the production’s Caesar looking like President Trump. “We stand completely behind our production of Julius Caesar,” the Public Theater said in a statement. “We recognize that our interpretation of the play has provoked heated discussion; audiences, sponsors and supporters have expressed varying viewpoints and opinions. Such discussion is exactly the goal of our civically-engaged theater; this discourse is the basis of a healthy democracy. Our production of Julius Caesar in no way advocates violence towards anyone. Shakespeare’s play, and our production, make the opposite point: those who attempt to defend democracy by undemocratic means pay a terrible price and destroy the very thing they are fighting to save. For over 400 years, Shakespeare’s play has told this story and we are proud to be telling it again in Central Park.” After Fox News ran a report accusing the Public Theater of producing a play that depicted Trump's killing, the Public Theater lost its funding from Delta and Bank of America, which sponsor the free performances. The National Endowment of the Arts also distanced itself from the Shakespeare production, after Fox News incorrectly reported that the government agency was funding the play.