Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes defended his company’s financial support for New York’s embattled Public Theater on Thursday at the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting in Burbank, Calif.
“We’re certainly not going to drop our support for an institution like the Public Theater,” Bewkes said. The CEO was responding to the first shareholder question at the meeting, which targeted the company’s continued sponsorship of the Public — the New York arts organization that has come under fire for its current production of Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar,” which portrays Caesar as a Donald Trump-like character. Bewkes noted that Time Warner’s financial support for the Public is limited to an emerging-artist development program run by the organization, and that the company offers no financial support for any of its productions, including “Julius Caesar.”
But he defended the Public and the production.
He added that the Public’s production “is not doing what the critics who haven’t seen the play or read the play are assuming the play is leading the audiences to think.”
[Perhaps the more pertinent question might be: does the stabbing of a Trump-like figure tend to incite? --Editor]