In December, New York magazine declared 2022 the “Year of the Nepo Baby” and published a beautiful taxonomy of the species. But talk of so-called nepotism followed us in 2023; For example, see the articles following the death of Lisa Marie (daughter of Elvis) Presley.
Referring to 54-year-old Presley or, for that matter, 73-year-old Jeff (Lloyd’s son) Bridges as a “baby” might seem dismissive. It is assumed that The subtitle of The New Yorker’s “Guide to the Hollywood Nepo-Verse” captures this air of self-awareness: “Actors, singers, directors who are just the children of actors, singers, directors.”
As a disclosure, it’s pretty cool stuff, like a conspiracy board covered in circles and arrows and post-it notes showing rich people. Just happens Have rich parents.
What Nippo’s kid talks about isn’t that people pass on their interests to their children—we know that—it’s that the rest of us are unfair.
Some celebrities have insisted that in fact it is fair, because what they are going through is not profitable – it is a “family business”. Asked about his son Truman’s appearance in his new film, Tom Hanks told Reuters: “We have four kids, they’re all very creative, they’re all into storytelling, and if we A plumbing supply business or if we take a flower shop down the street, the whole family will take time at once, even if it’s only available at the end of the year.
confident But the plumbing supply business is not a popularly sought-after career path that only offers steady employment to a lucky few. You never hear about people waiting tables or pouring espresso until they get a big break on the tap.
Entertainment careers, on the other hand (at least the most viewed ones), are supposed to be “broken,” as most of us are tied. Or if it’s not closed, then the door to Hollywood success is at least firmly closed.
A famous name can unlock it. Lily-Rose (Johnny’s daughter) Depp argues, “You might get your foot in the door, but you still have your foot in the door. There’s a lot of work to do after that.” Well, yes, but in a business where success often depends on successes and good luck, one should not underestimate these primary benefits.
To her credit, Alison Williams (star of “M3gan” and “Girls”; daughter of news anchor Brian) doesn’t underestimate it. She told New York magazine, “All people are looking for is an acknowledgment that it’s not a level playing field. It’s just unfair. Period, end of story, and nobody’s really going to make it fair. Not working so hard.
Strangely, though, while we’re debating whether or not celebrities have earned their success, no one seems to be paying attention to some of the more glaring examples of nepotism in other fields, such as a The fine young Englishman who truly inherited his royal job. , the president who ran his organization like a family business and the CEO of a company that owns a magazine that runs a cover feature just for Nepo kids.
A new report finds that college football coaches often bring their relatives on staff (leading to black underrepresentation). A sociological study shows that children of lawyers are 17 times more likely to become lawyers (leading to underrepresentation of working-class people).
If we’re outraged at the thought of Lily-Rose Dip’s foot in the door, where’s the viral outrage at the fact that so many elite colleges openly favor the children of their students in the admissions process?
Perhaps some of us still have the illusion that sheer talent can replace structural inequality. Despite everything we know, we still want to believe in a world where greatness is broken. A world where the first door knocks and the second door knocks, but if you can dance like Jane Kelly, the third door stays open.
And maybe some of us would rather feed on the Hollywood Nepo kids than think about the ways we too participate in and benefit from inherited wealth and privilege. I’m thinking of my Ivy League parents here—I just went to the same college my dad did.
How many of us are Nepo’s children?
In response to Napo’s criticism, self-proclaimed “OG Napo Baby” Jamie Lee (daughter of Janet Leigh and Tony) Curtis complained on Instagram, “There isn’t a day in my professional life that I don’t remember that I I am. The daughter of movie stars.”
Well, if it means she never forgets the benefits she inherited, then I guess that’s a good thing. And not just for celebrities.