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FILE - In this May 21, 2017, file 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. Delta Air Lines is pulling its sponsorship of New York's Public Theater for portraying Julius Caesar as the Donald Trump look-alike in a business suit who gets knifed to death on stage, according to its statement Sunday, June 11, 2017. (Joan Marcus/The Public Theater via AP)

New York's Public Theater won't back down over its 'Julius Caesar' Trump controversy


New York's Public Theater is refusing to back down after its production of "Julius Caesar" sparked controversy over overt references to President Trump, Variety reported.

The company's modern-day depiction of "Julius Caesar" features a Julius Caesar character with blond hair and a business suit, and his wife speaks with a Slavic accent similar to that of first lady Melania Trump.

The previews of the play generated controversy, even though Trump’s name is never mentioned in the production.

In the play’s climatic scene, the Trump look-alike Caesar is brutally stabbed to death by his associates in the Senate due to jealousy and greed for power.

The scene spread nationally on Sunday after Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., retweeted a Fox News story stating, “A New York City play appears to depict President Trump being brutally stabbed to death by women and minorities.”

Donald Trump Jr. wondered whether the "art" was taxpayer-funded.

Delta Air Lines and Bank of America pulled their financial support for the theater in the wake of the controversy. Still, the company refuses to back down.

"We stand completely behind our production of ‘Julius Caesar,'” the theater said. "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."

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