Leonard Bernstein’s Family Defends ‘Maestro’ Star Bradley Cooper Amid ‘Jewface’ Backlash

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 06: Bradley Cooper is seen on the set of "Maestro" on June 6, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by MEGA/GC Images)
MEGA/GC Images

The family members of Leonard Bernstein have come out in defense of actor Bradley Cooper amid accusations of “jewface” for his portrayal of the historic conductor in the upcoming film Maestro.

Undoubtedly destined for Oscar nominations, the trailer for Maestro released this week features Cooper in a gripping performance that depicts the composer throughout various stages of his long and complicated life. Cooper both stars in and directs the film. Take a look:

Corners of the internet took issue with the fact that Cooper has no Jewish ancestry and the fact he employed a prosthetic nose to better resemble the composer, which prompted accusations of “Jewface.”

“Hollywood cast Bradley Cooper – a non Jew – to play Jewish legend Leonard Bernstein and stuck a disgusting exaggerated ‘Jew nose’ on him. All while saying no to Jake Gyllenhaal, an actually Jewish man, who has dreamt of playing Bernstein for decades. Sickening,” wrote Stop Antisemitism.

“Leonard Bernstein (left) and clownface Hollywood’s #Jewface on right Why is Bradley Cooper playing Bernstein? He’s not Jewish-now a standard rule in Hollywood for other ethnicities & he is not nearly as handsome as Bernstein. He needs a hook nose to play a Jew?” wrote Pamela Geller.

Other self-professed Jews felt the outrage had gone too far and defended Bradley Cooper’s role as an actor.

Leonard Bernstein’s family also came to Cooper’s defense in a lengthy statement explaining that the actor/director consulted with them throughout the filmmaking process, adding that the composer himself would absolutely approve of his performance and his use of a prosthetic nose.

“It breaks our hearts to see any misrepresentations or misunderstandings of his efforts,” the statement said.

“It happens to be true that Leonard Bernstein had a nice, big nose,” the statement continued. “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.”

Paul Roland Bois joined Breitbart News in 2021. He also directed the award-winning feature film, EXEMPLUM, which can be viewed for FREE on YouTube or Tubi. A high-quality, ad-free stream can also be purchased on Google Play or Vimeo on Demand. Follow him on Twitter @prolandfilms or Instagram @prolandfilms.


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