Nepotism in Hollywood has become a popular topic of conversation as of late, dominating headlines and trending on Twitter. New York Magazine went so far as to declare 2022 “the year of the nepo baby, publishing a detailed breakdown of all the famous celebrity offspring currently in the limelight.
Let’s be real here: there are quite a few celebs who owe their fame and fortune to their relatives. It’s hard to ignore the fact that they’re the ones who would’ve paved the way. This is why the public has often questioned their true talent and deservedness, especially since many of the jobs they land have less to do with meritocracy and more to do with who they are, or, to be precise, who their parents (or in certain cases siblings) are.
It’s not really about seething in bitterness, but more about how other people who work their tail off never get to make it. Opportunities to become a Hollywood star are virtually non-existent, or if there may be a glimmer of hope, you might get a one in a billion chance to make it. Realistically speaking you’d probably have better luck gambling at an online casino and win real money for free with a no deposit bonus – but even then, chances are still slim!
What Is A Nepo Baby?
The term nepo baby refers to the child of a celebrity who uses their parent’s connections to forge their way into the industry, often meeting great success despite the increasingly competitive landscape. While nepotism exists in almost every field, it is especially prevalent in industries populated by celebrities, with their offspring almost always guaranteed to secure lead roles in TV shows, launch music careers, or front the covers of magazines just by simply sharing the same last name as their famous parents.
Whether it is comedy legend Jude Apatow and actress Leslie Man’s daughter Maude Apatow starring in Euphoria or Dennis Quaid and 80’s rom-com darling Meg Ryan’s son Jack Quaid kicking ass in ‘The Boys’, the internet is always divided when a new nepo baby is revealed to the public, calling into question whether their success is deserved or not. While some nepo babies are undeniably gifted, it is difficult to say whether they would have been given as many opportunities to showcase their talent if it hadn’t been for their connections.
Is It Fair ?
These celebs have always been around, although they were previously celebrated and viewed as carrying on the family legacy. Take Carrie Fisher, for example; her father, Eddie Fisher, was one of the most popular artists of the 1950s, while her mother starred in the cinematic classic “Singin’ in the Rain”. Carrie then managed to forge a successful career for herself, securing the coveted role of Princess Leia in the billion-dollar franchise Star Wars without receiving any of the judgement the new generation of nepo babies face today.
A key difference is that when Carrie Fisher was beginning her career, there was no social media. In this day and age, it appears that nepo babies are everywhere since social media has made them more accessible than stars in the past. Additionally, social media platforms also give individuals glimpses at aspirational lives, which could fuel jealousy and redirect their hatred to the nepo babies who have gone against the rules we were taught that hard work gains us rewards.
We need to remember that most of these stars were exposed to the industry when they were just kids. As such, it makes sense that most of them would follow in their parents footsteps. We also can’t pretend that if we were given the same advantages, we wouldn’t jump at the chance to star in a Hollywood blockbuster. Blaming them for being born into fame is akin to blaming children of rich families for being born into wealth. Unfortunately, life is not always fair, and there will always be people who have an easier ride than others.
The best way to combat this issue is to push for more diverse casting choices outside of the Hollywood system and fund more independent projects, as they are more likely to give chances to lesser-known talent. This will enable talented individuals to begin to build their careers at a steady pace rather than inheriting their success from their parents.