Illustration by Olivia B, Massachusetts College of Art and Design
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Illustration by Olivia B, Massachusetts College of Art and Design

The debate on talent vs fortune continues to dominate internet discourse.

The subject of nepotism is trending again, with the public calling it as they see it. For those who aren’t familiar with the concept, nepotism refers to individuals in high power or influence who hand down this privilege to their children or other relatives. Of course, this practice is prevalent in many businesses and industrial workplaces. However, Hollywood is where nepotism is most easily identified. Numerous well-known figures didn’t earn their success through hard work. Instead, they were lucky enough to have been born into the right family. This practice has recently become a hot topic after many have acknowledged the excessive number of nepotism babies in Hollywood.

On social media platforms like TikTok and Twitter, many users have pointed out the prominence of nepotism in the acting and music industries. The trend is commonly discussed on TikTok, with the popular hashtag #nepotismbaby attached to a number of videos’ captions. The hashtag is used for videos that call out well-known figures in Hollywood who seemingly had their lives and careers handed to them. These immensely popular videos brand a variety of celebrities, from Timothée Chalamet to Zoe Kravitz, as nepotism babies.

One of the biggest ways nepotism was called out was through a recently published issue of New York Magazine, which featured a cover that opened the doors to discussion. The famous cover was cleverly titled, “She has her mother’s eyes. And agent.” On the cover was a border of babies with many well-known faces such as Lily-Rose Depp and Jack Quaid. The discussion regarding the cover left many Twitter users divided. Some were quick to agree that the cover addressed the topic and called it out for what it was. Others were annoyed and believed that nepotism was just a part of how the industry worked.

However, the accusatory claim of “They’re just a nepo baby!” can easily be debunked when the individual in question is actually talented. Chalamet has proven time and time again that although he was given a foot in the door, he is still a great actor. Through projects like “Ladybird,” “Little Women” or most recently “Bones and All,” Chalamet demonstrates his gift for acting. Taking part in great scripts and stories, his amazing performances heighten these films. Despite his privileged background, it’s safe to say that he deserves a spot on set.

Though many argue his parents were not actors, thereby discrediting the “nepotism baby” title, his parents undoubtably aided him in his career path. His mother (a former Broadway performer) and father (a writer) both held positions in the industry that would pave the way for Chalamet and his sister, Pauline Chalamet.

Similarly, Emma Roberts has long since proven her forte in the industry. Roberts, who was bred into acting from a young age, has been a staple part of many renowned TV shows and films. Since her childhood roles, she has maintained her status as a beloved actress in the horror and comedy genres. Series like “American Horror Story” and “Scream Queens” showcase her talents as a performer. More recently, Roberts has gotten into executive producing for various projects such as the recent Hulu series “Tell Me Lies.” Whether these actors or other nepo babies deserve their fame is ultimately irrelevant when they excel at their craft.

Some examples of nepo babies like Kaia Gerber or the more popularly known Kardashians/Jenner family are believed to have found success through luck. Gerber, whose mother was supermodel Cindy Crawford, was easily able to get into acting due to her famous parent. Given her performances in “American Horror Story” and other Ryan Murphy related projects, viewers believe she was simply fortunate, rather than talented enough to be cast in a well-known show. Unfortunately, not many were sold on her acting abilities, as they were nowhere to be found. Gerber seems to have fallen into the web of nepo babies who Murphy seems to love.

The Kardashian/Jenner family is mostly known for their reality show and plastic surgery obsession. Bred from a rich heritage, the family is believed to have been privileged enough to inherit their fame and fortune. The reception to their reality shows on E! News and now Hulu further demonstrate the masses’ inability to believe that these women possess talent. Often, the family has been dubbed talentless, as their professional pursuits have been buoyed up by their inherited privilege. However, many fans argue that this is debatable, as the family has proven to possess work ethic.

There’s plenty of debate regarding whether nepotism can be justified, or if it should be ruled out as an unfair advantage. Whether these celebrities are talented or not is irrelevant to those whose gripes solely focus on the fact that many in the industry are nepotism babies. Some are unwilling to look past the fact that these celebrities came into their fame by sheer dumb luck, while others understand that Hollywood (and life) happen to work that way. Regardless of your stance, it’s a hot topic right now — the term “nepo baby” is trending seemingly everywhere. It’s official, nepotism babies in Hollywood have reached a new level of fame. By simply being acknowledged as nepo babies, these actors are once again at the center of the public eye.

Writer Profile

Ally Najera

California State University, Northridge
Broadcast Journalism, minor in Marketing

I am currently studying broadcast journalism. I read religiously and love watching films. I am very passionate about words.

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