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New Bradley Cooper film slammed for giving star a fake nose to play Jewish character
Featured Image Credit: Netflix

New Bradley Cooper film slammed for giving star a fake nose to play Jewish character

Critics say it's the Jewish equivalent of Blackface and are wondering why a Jewish actor wasn't cast in the role.

Bradley Cooper's prosthetic nose in the new trailer for the Leonard Bernstein biopic Maestro has sparked criticism online.

The upcoming Netflix film follows the relationship between American composer Leonard Bernstein (played by Cooper) and his wife Felicia Montealegre (Carey Mulligan).

In the teaser trailer released, 48-year-old Cooper, who is of Irish-Italian descent, is seen wearing a noticeably larger nose.

Jewish actress Tracy-Ann Oberman, who is known for appearances in Doctor Who, told Page Six Cooper wearing the nose is equivalent to blackface or yellowface.

“If Bradley Cooper is able to play the Elephant Man without any prosthetics, he should be able to play a Jewish man without any need for prosthetics — especially a ‘Jewish’ nose'," she told the publication.

She added: “If he needs to wear a prosthetic nose then that is, to me and many others, the equivalent of Black-Face or Yellow-Face.”

People online have also criticised the actor/director for casting himself in a Jewish role instead of a Jewish actor.

"I still would have preferred they at least give Jewish actors a chance to audition before automatically casting someone more famous," one person commented.

Some have also accused the American Sniper star of playing to 'Jewface' stereotypes with the exaggerated facial feature.

"Bradley Cooper wearing a prosthetic nose to play Leonard Bernstein is the equivalent of Black face," one person commented.

"He should be able to portray the character through the magnificence of his own acting."

They added: "Particularly if Cooper has been hired over a Jewish actor. There has to be a line."

While others pointed out that Cooper already resembled the composer and actually didn't need the prosthetic nose.


"It seems completely unnecessary to have gone in that direction given the uncanny resemblance," another person commented.

"The real Leonard Bernstein did not have the funny nose that Bradley Cooper is wearing in Maestro."

This is not the first time someone in Hollywood has been accused of 'Jewface'.

In 2021, Kathryn Hahn, who is not Jewish, faced criticism after she was cast to play late comic and talk show host Joan Rivers in The Comeback Girl, a limited series that didn't end up going ahead.

Comedian Sarah Silverman addressed the controversy on her podcast, The Sarah Silverman Podcast, at the time.

"There's this long tradition of non-Jews playing Jews, and not just playing people who happen to be Jewish but people whose Jewishness is their whole being," she said.

She added: "In a time when the importance of representation is seen as so essential and so front and center, why does ours constantly get breached even today in the thick of it?"

Topics: Film and TV, Netflix, Bradley Cooper