October 2, 2019 / 4:13 PM / 14 days ago

Royal Shakespeare Company drops BP as theater sponsor over climate concerns

FILE PHOTO: The logo of BP is seen at a petrol station in Kloten, Switzerland October 3, 2017. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s Royal Shakespeare Company will drop energy company BP Plc as its sponsor after young people told the theater group the partnership with BP turned them off going to its plays.

“Amidst the climate emergency, which we recognize, young people are now saying clearly to us that the BP sponsorship is putting a barrier between them and their wish to engage with the RSC. We cannot ignore that message,” the RSC said on Wednesday.

“The decision has not been taken lightly or swiftly,” it added of its move to end the partnership, which used money from BP to offer subsidized theater tickets to young people, by the end of this year.

BP said it was “disappointed and dismayed” at the RSC’s decision.

“Ironically, the increasing polarization of debate, and attempts to exclude companies committed to making real progress, is exactly what is not needed,” BP said.

Reporting by Shadia Nasralla; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

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