Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.

It's hard being an airline these days.

They're being assailed by passengers for their uncaring ways. And so few people seem to admire all the profits they're making.

It's just so unfair.

And everyone's accusing airlines of embracing dramatic, draconian, authoritarian ways.

Talking of Delta, it's got itself into yet another controversy. Yet again, it appears to have reacted in an extreme manner, when a little calm pause might have helped.

In this case, we're talking about a production of Julius Caesar in Central Park. Yes, the Shakespeare play.

Put on by New York's Public Theater, it's set in modern times. Caesar has a lovely wife and a long, red tie.

Oh, you can guess the allusion. Yes, Caesar is supposed to be just like Donald Trump.

The play's been in previews since May 23. Yet over the weekend, Fox News tweeted about the fact that Caesar gets assassinated -- oddly forgetting to mention the Caesar or the Shakespeare play parts.

This led to Donald Trump Jr. offering his own measured, tweeted words: "I wonder how much of this 'art' is funded by taxpayers? Serious question, when does 'art' become political speech & does that change things?"

Art, like business, can embrace the political. We usually decide to live with that fuzziness and complain about it endlessly. Occasionally, we try and do something about it.

What does this have to do with Delta? Well, it's a sponsor of the Public Theater. Or was.

"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," the company said in a statement.

It concluded: "We have notified them [the Public Theater] of our decision to end our sponsorship as the official airline of the Public Theater effective immediately."

No matter what your political stance, this may feel to some like: "You went to the restroom? Get off the plane NOW!"?

I only mention it because Bank of America, another Public Theater sponsor, also decided to leap on the displeased bandwagon.

Yet it merely announced that it will stop supporting this particular production -- which is only running till June 18. Bank of America's 11-year-long backing of the Public Theater will continue.

Now, of course, Delta is suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous tweeting slightly more than is Bank of America.

"I'd rather fly an airline that beats up its passengers than @Delta -- cravenly pulling support for Shakespeare in the Park because ... Trump?" offered author and historian James Gleick.

But even if you believe that the play is deliberately provocative -- or, as the Hollywood Reporter described it, just a little pointlessly obvious -- is this sufficient reason to instantly withdraw all your sponsorship after four years?

After all, the Public is also participating in other plays that could be seen to be critical of the president. Is Delta suggesting these do reflect its values?

And might the airline have already known how Julius Caesar was being staged before it saw a few outraged tweets?

There's there the fact that the play itself is a cautionary tale, one that is clearly anti-violence.

True pedants might also point out that the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis staged the play with a tall, black man playing Caesar. Yes, some critics made the connection with President Obama. One of the sponsors of the Guthrie (though not that production)? Why, Delta.

I can't help thinking, therefore, that Delta has knee-jerked its way in the very same manner that too many airlines seem to react these days.

At the first hint of friction or even dissatisfaction, they hurl a hissy.

I cannot confirm that United Airlines has called the Public Theater and said it would like to take over the sponsorship, as long as its own staff can act as ushers and be free to drag those who don't applaud along the floor and out of the theater.

Published on: Jun 12, 2017
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.