Bradley Cooper is the new legendary Leonard Bernstein in Netflix’s upcoming Maestro, but for some, he was an anti-Semite because of his character’s makeup which allegedly resembled an offensive ‘Jewface’ trope.
The fervent outcry stemmed from the streamer’s launch of the much-awaited teaser, in which one of the producers was a Jewish filmmaker, Steven Spielberg.
In the teaser, A Star is Born actor sported a long prosthesis nose that was seen by some hurting their religious sentiments.
Sharing the in-character snap of Cooper, the Jewish British actress Tracy-Ann Oberman shared her strong feelings against the alleged nose prosthetic insult.
“If Bradley Cooper green lights your film to play the Jewish composer Bernstein and you want him over a Jewish A-Lister who can equally, play that role – then let Bradley Cooper’s acting be so magnificent and truthful that the character of Bernstein shines through what he already looks like.”
She continued, “If Bradley Cooper can’t do it through the power or acting alone then don’t cast him – get a Jewish Actor.”
Reportedly Jewish actor Jake Gyllenhaal was in the talks to play the titular role but lost the race to the 48-year-old.
“Bradley Cooper managed to play the ELEPHANT MAN without a single prosthetic then he should be able to manage to play a Jewish man without one,” she concluded.
But in a chat with Page Six, the West Wing star Joshua Malina, also Jewish, opted for a different take.
“I do not take issue with Bradley Cooper being made to look like a real person,” adding, “Jews do not, in fact, have bigger noses than other people do; Leonard Bernstein did. That’s the end of the story for me.”
However, this view does not resonate with other viewers who take their disgust and disappointment to the internet.
One user shared the photo of both the stars for their nose comparison, noting the ‘prosthetic’ was a needless addition.
Another grumbled that the makeup was similar to Nazi propaganda.
Meanwhile, regarding the Jewface controversy in Hollywood, actress/comedian Sarah Silverman explained the stereotype in her October 2021 podcast.
“Jewface” is ‘defined as when a non-Jew portrays a Jew with the Jewishness front and center, often with makeup or changing of features, big fake nose, all the New York-y or Yiddish-y inflection.”
Moreover, Massachusetts-born Bernstein was a celebrated conductor, pianist, and composer. He won several awards for his stellar work, including seven Emmy Awards, two Tony Awards, 16 Grammy Awards, and an Oscar nomination.
The Netflix’s likely contender flick Maestro will hit select theatres on November 22 and on the streamer on December 20.