Famous Actor Accused of 'Jewface' for Wearing Prosthetic Nose in Role

Bradley Cooper has come under scrutiny for "Jewface."

In the forthcoming movie Maestro, Cooper takes on the role of composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein, which delves into Bernstein's 25-year romantic relationship with Felicia Montealegre.

Although Netflix launched a promotional trailer for the film on Tuesday, it was Cooper's appearance, especially his nose, that drew most of the attention. Several individuals on social media labeled Cooper's prosthetic nose as an instance of antisemitism.

Although StopAntisemitism claims to be the “Leading non-partisan American-based organization fighting antisemitism”, this claim has been disputed. Nevertheless, the organization is adept at sparking controversy.

“Hollywood cast Bradley Cooper – a non-Jew – to play Jewish legend Leonard Bernstein and stuck a disgusting exaggerated ‘Jew nose’ on him,” StopAntisemitism stated on X. “Sickening.”

There's a lot of fake rage packed into that single post.

NBC News gathered a variety of reactions, many of which also accuse Cooper of antisemitism:

“Bradley Cooper is putting himself in an insanely large prosthetic nose to play a Jewish man in Maestro and we’re all just supposed to act like that’s cool and normal?”

“Just looked up a picture of the real Leonard Bernstein…. the big antisemitic prosthetic nose on Bradley Cooper was definitely not necessary…” another commenter wrote.

“I saw Bradley Cooper play the elephant man with no prosthetics on Broadway,” another social media user said. “But then he plays a Jew and decides he needs a huge nose?”

“He’s the director too so don’t blame anyone else,” they added.

“There was no need for Bradley Cooper to add an odd prosthetic nose on top of this to play Leonard Bernstein,” one social media user wrote. “His own nose is longer! And I still would have preferred they at least give Jewish actors a chance to audition before automatically casting someone more famous,” they said, adding the hashtag “#JewFace.”

Leonard Bernstein was known for his prominent nose. To represent him without it, just like showing Jay Leno without his notably pronounced chin, would be untruthful.

Bradley Cooper, renowned for his adaptability as an actor, seems poised to capture Bernstein authentically. Bernstein’s own children think so too. Their sentiments might hold more weight than those of journalists on X or the proponents at StopAntisemitism.

The uproar over the alleged "Jewface" is reminiscent of the backlash against the movie The Whale, where critics termed the use of a fat suit as “fat appropriation” instead of casting a 600-pound actor. It sounds absurd, but it's true.

For clarity's sake, not all Jews possess pronounced noses. Similarly, having a prominent nose doesn't automatically denote Jewish heritage.

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