Opinion | A lot of us are ‘nepo’ babies — and we shouldn’t forget it

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The term “nepo baby” came out after that A tweet Last February about Maude (Leslie Mann and Judd’s daughter) Apatow, and soon became a popular TikTok hashtag connected to artists with famous parents in the business. For example, actress Maya Hawke, her parents are Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman. Or Kate Hudson, her mother is Goldie Hawn.

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In December, New York magazine announced 2022 as “the year of the Nepo child” and published a jaunty classification of the species. But the conversation about nepotism famously follows us into 2023; For example, see the article following the death of Lisa Marie (daughter of Elvis) Presley.

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Referring to the 54-year-old Presley or, for that matter, the 73-year-old Jeff (Lloyd’s son) Bridges as a “baby” may seem disingenuous. It should be. The subtitle of New York’s “Guide to the Hollywood Nepo-Verse” captures this air of cynicism: “Actors, singers, directors happen to be children of actors, singers, directors.”

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As a revelation, this is very cute, like a conspiracy board covered in circles and arrows and Post-it notes revealing how rich people are. Just happened have rich parents

What the nepo baby discussion reveals is not that people pass their advantages on to their children – we know that – it’s that the rest of us think it’s unfair.

Some celebrities have confirmed that, in fact, it is fair, because what they convey is not profitable – it is a “family business.” Answering a question about his son Truman who appears in his new film, Tom Hanks told Reuters: “We have four children, they are all very creative, they are all involved in some brand of storytelling, and if we are a plumbing business or. If we run a flower shop on the street, the whole family will be placed at some point, even if it is inventory at the end of the year.”

Of course. But the plumbing business is not a prestigious career path that offers steady employment to only the lucky few. You never hear about people waiting for tables or slinging espressos until they get their large supply.

The entertainment profession, on the other hand (at least more visibly), has to be “broken,” because most of us are locked up. Or if it’s not locked, then the door to Hollywood success is at least firmly shut.

Famous names can open it. Lily-Rose (Johnny’s daughter) Depp argued, “Maybe you get your foot in the door, but you still have your foot in the door. There’s a lot of work that goes on after that.” Well, yes, but in a business where success often depends on progress and lucky breaks, one should not underestimate that initial benefit.

To her credit, Allison Williams (star of “M3gan” and “Girls”; daughter of news anchor Brian) didn’t underestimate it. She told New York magazine, “All people are looking for is recognition that it’s not a level playing field. It’s just not fair. Period, end of story, and no one is working hard to make it fair.”

Strangely, though, while we argue about whether celebrities are successful or not, no one cares much about some of the more shameful examples of nepotism in other areas, such as the handsome young Englishman who inherited his position. , the president who runs his administration like a family business and the CEO of a company that owns a magazine that only runs the cover features of children nepo.

A new report found that college football coaches often bring their relatives on the staff (which makes blacks less represented). Sociological studies reveal that the children of lawyers are 17 times more likely to become lawyers (which leaves the working class underrepresented).

If we’re annoyed at the thought of Lily-Rose Depp’s foot in the door, where’s the viral outrage at the fact that many elite colleges are opening up to the children of their former students in the admissions process?

Perhaps some of us still live under the illusion that superior talent can replace structural inequality. Despite everything we know, we still want to believe in a world where greatness has broken. A world where the first door slams and the second door slams, but if you can dance like Gene Kelly, the third door remains open.

And maybe some of us might be feeding on Hollywood nepo kids instead of thinking about how we participate and profit from inherited wealth and privilege. I’m thinking of my Ivy League parents here — I just went to the same university my dad did.

How many nepo children are we?

In response to nepo’s criticism, the self-proclaimed “OG Nepo Baby” Jamie Lee (daughter of Janet Leigh and Tony) Curtis complained on Instagram, “Not a day in my professional life goes by without reminding me that I am. The daughter of a movie star.”

Well, if that means she never forgets the virtues she inherited, then I think that’s a good thing. And not just for celebration.



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