×

Donald Trump Jr. Appears to Link Congressman’s Shooting to Controversial ‘Julius Caesar’ Play

Donald Trump Jr., President Donald Trump’s oldest son, re-tweeted a quote that links the Virginia shooting of Congressman Steve Scalise to the controversy over the Public Theater’s Free Shakespeare in the Park production of “Julius Caesar,” which depicts the assassination of a Trump-like Caesar.

“This,” Trump Jr. tweeted, linking to a tweet by political commentator Harlan Z. Hill which read, “Events like today are EXACTLY why we took issue with NY elites glorifying the assassination of our President.”

Hill’s tweet apparently refers to the Public’s “Julius Caesar,” which has stirred up controversy with an outdoor staging of the Shakespeare play that makes overt references to Trump and the current administration. Caesar sports blond hair and wears long ties, and his model-thin wife speaks with a Slovenian accent.

The onstage sequence that raised right-wing ire was the assassination, bloodily depicted as written in the original play. The outcry was loud enough to spur two Public Theater sponsors, Bank of America and Delta Air Lines, to pull their support for the production.

Reps for the organization said the Public Theater didn’t have a specific response to the tweet, but instead referred to a Monday statement that defended the show against accusations that it would incite violence.

“Our production of ‘Julius Caesar’ in no way advocates violence towards anyone,” the statement read. “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.” On Monday night the show opened with a curtain speech by Public Theater artistic director (and the director of “Julius Caesar”) Oskar Eustis, that also stood by the production.

“Julius Caesar” runs, as scheduled, only through Sunday, when it closes to make way for the next summer Shakespeare production in the park, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

Popular on Variety

More Biz

  • Led Zeppelin Stairway to Heaven

    Department of Justice Backs Led Zeppelin in ‘Stairway to Heaven’ Copyright Case

    The U.S. Department of Justice has weighed in on the next big music copyright case on the horizon following the Katy Perry “Dark Horse” decision, and taken Led Zeppelin’s side in the long-running copyright dispute that pits the writers of the group’s anthem “Stairway to Heaven” against the publishers of the earlier song “Taurus” by [...]

  • Harvey Weinstein

    Harvey Weinstein Prosecutors Make Last-Minute Move to Bolster Case

    The Manhattan D.A.’s office is making a last-minute bid to strengthen its case against Harvey Weinstein, who is set to be tried next month on charges of rape and sexual assault. Prosecutors notified the court on Tuesday that they will seek a new indictment. The D.A.’s office wants jurors to hear from Annabella Sciorra, the [...]

  • Jeffrey Epstein

    Jeffrey Epstein's Autopsy Rules That He Died by Suicide

    Jeffrey Epstein’s death earlier this month has been ruled a suicide by hanging. The New York Times reported on Friday that the city’s medical examiner has officially made the ruling six days after Epstein was found dead in his jail cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan. According to the Times, which cites a [...]

  • America Ferrera Eva Longoria

    America Ferrera, Eva Longoria and More Sign Letter to Latinx Community: 'We Will Not Be Broken'

    America Ferrera, Eva Longoria and more have signed a letter published in several media outlets on Friday standing in solidarity with the Latinx community. In response to the heightened tension surrounding President Trump’s immigration agenda, the El Paso shooting that targeted Latinx people and the ICE raids in Mississippi, the letter addresses the language used [...]

  • Research Firm Screen Engine/ASI Acquires TicktBox

    Screen Engine/ASI Acquires TicktBox, an Entertainment Marketing and Ticketing Startup

    Screen Engine/ASI, a market research firm that specializes in focus-group testing of movies and TV pilots, has acquired ticktBox, which operates a digital marketing and ticketing platform used by movie distributors, exhibitors, and TV networks. Terms of the deal, which closed Aug. 9, weren’t disclosed. With ticktBox, SE/ASI will have one of the largest databases of [...]

  • NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST

    Eric Reid, Jemele Hill – and Colin Kaepernick? - Take Jay-Z to Task Over NFL Partnership

    When news of the presumably lucrative entertainment and social-justice deal between Jay-Z’s Roc Nation and the NFL leaked on Tuesday, initially there was a surprising lack of public reaction or outcry. But after a press conference where Jay and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell officially announced the deal at Roc Nation’s New York offices yesterday — [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content