Shropshire Star

Mark Andrews: Activists pile in on Bradley Cooper, and Polar Bears 1, Lionesses 0

Poor Prince William. As president of the Football Association, he had to come up with a politically acceptable reason not to go to Australia to watch the Lionesses in their World Cup final. So he blamed the polar bears.

Prince William in Australia

The Prince said he was concerned about the environmental damage caused by a long flight, and would instead ‘cheer on the Lionesses at home’. Very PR savvy, even if it does conjure up memories of that cringeworthy photo of suited-and-booted Scotsmen Tony Blair and Gordon Brown ‘cheering on England’ in front of the television.

The fly in the ointment is that William did not appear too troubled about his carbon footprint when he and the family toured Australia in 2014. A similar tour in 2020 was cancelled due to the coronavirus, and the Australian PM appears to be under the impression he will be going back soon. There is also the small matter that William is a prince of Australia, as well as Wales, so presumably he will need to visit his dominion sooner or later.

Maybe he should have just channelled his inner Paul Hogan and admitted: “I’m not sitting on a plane for 40 hours just to watch a few Sheilas kick a ball about for 90 minutes.”

Which might have been problematic in Islington. But would have gone down a storm with sheep farmers in the outback.

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Wouldn’t it have been lovely if the furious ‘activists’ slating actor Bradley Cooper for wearing a prosthetic nose to play Leonard Bernstein had actually consulted the Bernstein family before venting their spleen?

Because if they had, Bernstein’s children wouldn't have felt obliged to say they were heartbroken at how Cooper’s portrayal had been misrepresented. That’s the thing with activists, always quick to take offence on others' behalf.

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Bernstein’s children took the grown-up view that their father had certain facial features, and that it was perfectly sensible for an actor to use make-up in order to look the part.

The only stereotyping of Jews seems to be from the activists who suggest only Jewish actors can be allowed to play that role.

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Extending that argument to its logical conclusion, then only actors from the West Midlands should play characters from the region. Which would be a vast improvement on the predictable, off-the-shelf Peaky Blinders accent used for every character supposed to be from somewhere between Coventry and Oswestry. But I won’t hold my breath.

Indeed, when the Halifax turned its Howard the Singing Bank Manager character into a cartoon strip, they decided his actual Midland accent wasn’t ‘Brummie’ enough. So they hired a voice actor to put on a suitably gormless intonation.