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Corporate backers pull funding from UK theater after antisemitism row

A view of the Royal Court Theatre in Sloane Square Apr. 20, 2021 in London, England. (Rob Pinney/Getty Images via JTA)
A view of the Royal Court Theatre in Sloane Square Apr. 20, 2021 in London, England. (Rob Pinney/Getty Images via JTA)

Two corporate sponsors pull funding from the London theater that was accused of antisemitism over a play which included a character named Hershel Fink, a billionaire with plans for global domination.

Law firms Kirkland & Ellis and Weil, Gotshal & Manges, tell the BBC they will no longer fund the Royal Court.

In a statement to the British broadcaster, a spokesperson for Kirkland & Ellis says: “We condemn in the strongest possible terms any and all forms of racism and discrimination, including antisemitism, and in light of the recent events, we were unable to continue our sponsorship.”

Weil, Gotshal & Manges, the theater’s only “gold” corporate sponsor, tells the BBC: “Weil strongly condemns any form of anti-Semitism or discrimination, whether conscious or unconscious, and we will be withdrawing our support for the Royal Court.”

The playhouse said the character’s name was due to “unconscious bias” against Jews, and it was changed before the play opened last month.

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