Bradley Cooper Faces Backlash For Leonard Bernstein Biopic
Oscar-nominated actor Bradley Cooper is facing backlash for his latest role. It is not necessarily for his choice to play the role, but rather for what he is doing for the role. Cooper is starring in the upcoming Leonard Bernstein biopic, Maestro as the famous composer. However, Cooper is also directing this project. In order to resemble Bernstein more, Cooper made the choice to wear a prosthetic nose throughout the movie. This prosthetic is meant to make his nose look larger. This choice has received a lot of criticism, since many people believe this prosthetic perpetuates a common Jewish stereotype.
Backlash to Bradley Cooper’s Explanation
It is a well-known stereotype, to depict Jewish people as having larger-than-average noses. It is in this stereotype that the criticism lies. Leonard Bernstein was a Jewish man. while Bradley Cooper is not Jewish in the slightest. Therefore, many members of the Jewish community believe that the use of the prosthetic nose is offensive. Many people are calling the use of the fake nose “Jewface”. The nonprofit group Stop Antisemitism even tweeted, “Hollywood cast Bradley Cooper — a non-Jew — to play Jewish legend Leonard Bernstein and stuck a disgusting exaggerated ‘Jew nose’ on him,” If he did not decide to wear the prosthetic nose, Cooper might not have received such backlash, even for playing a Jewish role while being non-Jewish. However, the fake nose has converted the decision into a public problem.
Was the Prosthetic Even Necessary?
In addition to creating backlash by portraying a stereotype, many people believe that the prosthetic nose is unnecessary and inaccurate. There have been many comparisons between Bernstein’s nose and Cooper’s (real and fake) nose in the past couple of days. From the photos, it appears to online users that Bernstein’s nose is not as big as the prosthetic nose used – and that Bernstein and Cooper already have somewhat similar noses. The online discovery is furthering people’s ideas that the prosthetic nose comes from stereotypes, and Cooper should have made the film without the use of it.
After all of the online criticism aimed at Bradley Cooper’s decision to use a prosthetic nose, Bernstein’s children have commented on it. Bernstein has three children, Alexander, Jamie, and Nina. When they saw people’s reactions, Bernstein’s children made a public statement on the matter, “Bradley Cooper included the three of us along every step of this amazing journey as he made this film about our father. We were touched to the core to witness the depth of his commitment, his loving embrace of our father’s music and the sheer open-hearted joy he brought to his exploration. It breaks our hearts to see any misrepresentations or misunderstandings of his efforts,.” They also state, “It happens to be true that Leonard Bernstein had a nice, big nose. Bradley chose to use makeup to amplify his resemblance, and we’re perfectly fine with that. We’re also certain that our dad would have been fine with it as well.”
The Buzz for Bradley Cooper
The backlash to Bradley Cooper’s prosthetic nose is not new. It first came when Maestro released photos of Cooper as Bernstein in May. There were a lot of complaints about the prosthetic nose at the time, but that criticism died down fairly quickly. The criticism picked up again this week when the first teaser trailer for the film came out. Despite the criticism, there has already been Oscar buzz for Cooper’s performance in the film. The family statement might cause some of the criticism to die down, but there will still be many critics that will stand by their opinions.
Featured photo by Sikelia Productions