A new take on William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar is causing quite the commotion. This year's Shakespeare in the Park performance of the iconic play has a modern twist, with characters seemingly inspired by President Donald Trump and his wife Melania.
Director Oskar Eustis has reportedly altered the Roman emperor to look like Trump, complete with "strawberry blonde hair teased and coiffed," according to Deadline. Caesar's character also wears Trump's characteristic suit and extra-long tie.
Caesar's wife, Calpurnia, was also given a modern look. Deadline critic Jeremy Gerard reports Calpurnia's character is "swathed and swaddled in free-flowing silk, totters about in spike heels and speaks with a heavy Slavic accent". Sound familiar?
The play, of course, includes the famous scene of Caesar's death. The scene shows the suit-clad Caesar brutally murdered by his friends-turned-foes, Cassius and Brutus, as his white dress shirt is soaked in blood.
According to Inside Edition, Shakespeare in the Park's latest summer play is getting mixed reactions. "I didn't like that they made this person who looks like Trump get assassinated," one playgoer told Inside Edition. "It's not a good message."
The folks at Fox News were similarly opposed. "This is so incredibly in poor taste that I'm surprised they haven't cast Kathy Griffin in the production," said Fox News contributor Guy Benson.
The backlash later led Delta Airlines to pull its sponsorship of the production, Fox News Insider reported.
"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. Their artistic and creative direction crossed the line on the standards of good taste," the company said on Twitter.
Other playgoers had no problem with the play. "I don't think it's disrespectful for the president to be murdered on stage," another woman told Inside Edition. "It's not really the president... It's theatre. Everyone knows it's theatre."
Controversy over the production comes on the heels of a scandal involving comedian Kathy Griffin. The red-headed comic was lambasted for posting a gruesome photo of a severed head that looked like Trump's. Griffin was forced to apologise, despite several celebrities coming to her defence.