Filmmaker Michael Moore wrote a check for thousands of dollars to the New York-based arts organization that drew fire for its performance of “Julius Caesar,” which included the assassination of a Trump look-alike.
In a statement, Moore said he wrote the check for $10,000 to The Public Theater and became a sponsor of its free Shakespeare in the Park program after the firestorm surrounding the production earlier this month.
Right-leaning activists, and even Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., criticized the play as encouraging violence against the president and his supporters. Protesters even took to the stage and disrupted the play on multiple occasions.
“In a time like this, it is important that we stand up against any attempts to censor art or free expression, especially by denying this expression the funding that it needs,” Moore said in the statement published to his Facebook page on Tuesday evening.
The statement also says Moore has pledged to raise more money for this summer’s Public Theater productions in Central Park.
Starting in July, Moore will stage his first theatrical even on Broadway, “The Terms of My Surrender.” On Tuesday, he said on Twitter, “I'm donating my total advance pay from my B'way show to Shakespeare in the Park after conservative media bullied Corp sponsors 2 pull out.”
It appeared the left-wing filmmaker was most bothered by the decision of Bank of America and Delta Airlines to pull their sponsorship of the play as the controversy boiled.
“Neither I nor anyone else in the theater should feel intimidated by what's happened here or ever worry about how much control certain sponsors or investors have over our work,” Moore's statement said.
Moore, known for such documentaries as “Bowling for Columbine” and “Fahrenheit 9/11,” has been an outspoken critic of Trump and is working on a new film criticizing him and his administration.
The Public Theater’s “Caesar” production has garnered intense criticism since it opened. Earlier this month, a 24-year-old activist was arrested after she rushed the stage shouting “Stop leftist violence!” And two 28-year-old men were arrested after storming the stage and shouting "Liberal hate kills!"
Police are investigating threats made to the wife of the director of the production, which ended its run on June 18.