Bradley Cooper Faces Backlash Over Prosthetic Nose: “More Antisemitic Than Kanye”

The Hangover
star Bradley Cooper is facing backlash from social media users for wearing prosthetics to enhance the size of his nose. Cooper, 48, put on a larger nose for the biographical drama film Maestro, in which he plays Jewish composer Leonard Bernstein. Netflix describes the upcoming drama as a “towering and fearless love story” about Bernstein and his wife, Felicia Montealegre Cohn Bernstein.

To X (formerly Twitter) users, the prosthetic was uncalled for and is “wildly antisemitic.” @fatfabfeminist writes, “you playing a jewish person and adding a prosthetic nose like this?? is that not wildly antisemitic????”

@fairygodyinzer believes the notion was more “antisemitic” than Kanye’s infamous remarks on Hitler. “The way Leonard Bernstein would’ve ruined my life and the way Hitler himself directed this film because the prosthetic nose on Bradley Cooper I’m not gonna lie is more antisemitic than Kanye West.”

The photos below show a side-by-side of Bernstein and the actor.

In my opinion, their noses don’t look similar, and Cooper’s wasn’t even well done.

I agree with the people saying the special effects makeup was unnecessary, but bashing it as “antisemitism” is a bit of a stretch – even Bernstein’s family agrees. According to the composer’s three children – Jamie, Alexander, and Nina – they are incredibly “touched” by Cooper’s commitment to portraying their father and were even involved in making the film. “Bradley Cooper included the three of us along every step of his amazing journey as he made his film about our father,” the statement reads on Instagram. “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.”

“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. Any strident complaints around this issue strike us above all as disingenuous attempts to bring a successful person down a notch a practice we observed all too often perpetrated on our own father,” it adds.

“At all times during the making of this film, we could feel the profound respect and yes, the love that Bradley brought to his portrait of Leonardo Bernstein and his wife, our mother Felicia,” the three conclude. “We feel so fortunate to have had this experience with Bradley, and we can’t wait for the world to see his creation.”

It’s unfortunate how so many reactionary people online label something or someone as “racist,” “fatphobic,” or “antisemitic” without actually taking the time to consider the intention behind the action. A couple of months ago, I witnessed one makeup artist on TikTok face unnecessary backlash after she was asked to test her makeup on a “darker” base. She responded by applying black paint on her arm to put the product on top of it – then she was labeled racist and faced harsh criticism for no reason.

Context is gone. Most people resort to assumptions rather than empathy or understanding, and we’re witnessing the consequences of it. Internet users are now more divided than ever, and I’m afraid they may carry their online behavior into the real world.

Bernstein’s family looked forward to witnessing an artistic portrayal of their parents’ love and romance, and if they’re happy, everyone else should be as well.

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