Leonard Bernstein's Kids Defend Bradley Cooper Amid Movie Transformation Backlash

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Leonard Bernstein's children are breaking their silence over the controversy surrounding Bradley Cooper's portrayal of their father in the upcoming biopic, Maestro. 

The drama started after Netflix dropped the trailer for the new movie about Bernstein's life, which features Cooper wearing a prosthetic nose to better embody the noted composer and conductor, who famously co-created West Side Story. 

Cooper's look while playing Bernstein quickly ruffled some feathers, with many people calling out the exaggerated nose as "antisemitic," since the Guardians of the Galaxy star himself is not Jewish.

"Hollywood cast Bradley Cooper - a non Jew - to play Jewish legend Leonard Bernstein and stuck a disgusting exaggerated 'Jew nose' on him," the organization StopAntisemitism wrote in a message on X (formerly known as Twitter) calling the casting and use of prosthetics "sickening."

But now, Bernstein's own children are speaking out to defend Cooper, writing in their own social media message that they are "perfectly fine" with the way the Cooper—who also directed the film—chose to portray their father.

Bernstein's three kids, Jamie, Alexander and Nina Bernstein, claim Cooper included them "along every step of his amazing journey as he made his film about our father."

"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," the post on X continued, along with the assertion, "It breaks our hearts to see any misrepresentations or misunderstandings of his efforts."

Bernstein's kids then took a moment to address the portrayal of their father's nose specifically, admitting, "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," they further asserted, while even going as far as to say, "We're also certain that our dad would have been fine with it as well."

Jamie, Alexander and Nina continued to defend Cooper, adding, "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."

The three siblings insisted that "at all times during the making of this film, we could feel the profound respect and yes, the love the love that Bradley brought to his portrait of Leonard Bernstein and his wife, our mother Felicia."

"We feel so fortunate to have had this experience with Bradley, and we can't wait for the world to see his creation," their statement concluded.

In the upcoming film, Jamie, Alexander and Nina's mother is portrayed by Carey Mulligan.

Maestro comes to limited theaters on November 22, 2023, before it will begin streaming on Netflix December 20, 2023.

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