Like a virus that refuses to be cured, the celebrity nepotism debate—also known as the growing trend of celebrity spotting“nepo babies” who entered their chosen industry on the coattails of their parents, has resurfaced from the internet’s acid discourse due to a flurry of eerily similar interviews given by young stars last week.
Zoe Kravitzdaughter of Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet, saying G.Q. in an interview published on November 15 that he has deep insecurities about working in entertainment stemming from his famous ancestry. Then she contradicts herself: “It’s completely normal for people to be in the family business,” Kravitz said to G.Q.. “It’s literally where the last names come from. You were a blacksmith if your family was, like, the Black family.”
“People are going to have preconceptions about you or how you got there, and I can definitely say that nothing is going to get you the part except being right for the part,” actress and model. lily rose deppthe daughter of Johnny Depp and French singer Vanessa Paradis, said elle in an interview published a day later.
Depp’s comments sparked a storm of outrage in the modeling community started by Italian model Vittoria Ceretti. “I get ‘I’m here and I worked hard for it,’ but I would really love to see if you would have lasted the first five years of my career,” Ceretti posted. On Instagram.
This became a hoard on the internet with thousands mocking Depp for believing that he belonged in the fashion industry on his own merits. “Lily-Rose Depp complains that people call her a nepotistic girl when she’s 5’2″ and she walks for Chanel lmao GIRL,” she read in a tweet that has been favorited for more than 138,000 times.
“It was out of the question that people would think I use a free pass because of my name,” Lily Collinsactress and daughter of Phil Collins, said Vogue France in an interview published on November 22. “I am proud of my dad, but I wanted to be me, not just his daughter. So, I was ready to wait to break through.”
“I want to feel that I deserve things and not just that they have given me things,” said Lourdes León, Madonna’s daughter, in a new interview with The cut this week. “And yes, there is an undeniable privilege that I would be stupid not to realize. Babies with nepotism are usually pretty horrible, and my mom and dad raised me to be much smarter than that.”
There is nothing new about nepotism, first coined in the 14th or 15th century. to describe the corrupt tactic of parents without children assigning prominent positions in the Catholic Church to his nephews.
US presidential and political nepotism is almost as old as the country itself, running the gamut from John Quincy Adams being criticized for hiring family members for the Bush Y kennedy dynasties. The most egregious recent example is, of course, Donald Trump’s habit of swooning. prominent White House advisory roles to their deeply incompetent children and in-laws.
And while Hollywood nepotism has an exceptionally high profile, professional favoritism toward family members pervades every industry: The prohibitive cost of living and education in big cities has made journalism increasingly impossible to find. practice professionally without the help of a well related relative (looking at you, Chris Cuomo) or extensive financial protection.
This summer, top college football coaches he talked about how nepotism in his field contributes to the dearth of diversity in training. Nepotism in the legal field has long been a point of intense contention.
Given the obvious ubiquity of nepotism, there’s something inherently ludicrous about all the coverage celebrity kids do when they’re asked to own up to how they became celebrities themselves, especially since the entertainment world is a particularly prominent offender (important note : sometimes the children of famous artists turn out to be quite good themselves).
Ben Stiller’s father is a famous comedianLiza Minelli’s mother is the one and only Judy Garland, kendall jenner He started modeling in part thanks to her keeping up with the Kardashians prominence; the list could go on endlessly.
“Direct nepotism is easily measurable. Obviously, you can tell the difference between someone who can act and someone who can’t.”
— matt earle
Does Lily Collins really think her name didn’t get her spots, even if she wasn’t knowingly using a “free pass”? Is Zoe Kravitz really thinking of ending up in the batman What is the same as being a blacksmith’s apprentice?
“Outright nepotism is easily measurable,” Matt Earle, CEO of the reputation management firm. Reputation.cahe told The Daily Beast. “Obviously, you can tell the difference between someone who can act and someone who can’t.”
Even when celebrities try to acknowledge how nepotism has played a role in their careers, they often fail to land.
Gwyneth Paltrow She is the daughter of actress Blythe Danner and director/producer Bruce Paltrow, but she also inarguably proved her worth as an actress by winning an Academy Award and established herself as a savvy businesswoman with the runaway success of Goopyour wellness brand.
“As someone’s child, you get access that other people don’t, so the playing field isn’t leveled like that,” Gwyneth Paltrow said on The Hailey Bieber YouTube Show (Bieber herself is a baby nepo) at the beginning of this year. “However, I really feel that once your foot is in the door, which you unfairly entered, you almost have to work twice as hard and be twice as good. Because people are ready to tear you down and say you don’t belong there or you’re only there because of your dad or your mom or whatever the case may be.”
“There’s some truth to what he’s saying,” Earle said of Paltrow’s quote. “What it means is that you have to work twice as hard for people to recognize that you have achieved something. Where she is wrong is that she shows disdain for the general public and all those who criticize her. Eighty percent of the people who read that are going to think, you just kind of insulted me.”
Earle told The Daily Beast that having a good PR person can sometimes help prevent a celebrity from making the nepotism denial mistake, but not always.
“Having a good head on your shoulders, a good perspective and a good empathy and understanding of how you are perceived by the broader population outside of your elite bubble of Hollywood or bubble of extreme wealth and privilege is really important,” Earle said. A celebrity with famous parents needs to “manage those considerations and be extremely aware of how they are going to look. And we definitely get [clients] who, you can tell, just doesn’t believe what we’re saying.”
“The children of famous parents want to emulate the fame of their parents and cannot.”
— Marisa Peer
Why can’t “nepo babies” recognize that they are “nepo babies” and why does it bother us so much?
The Daily Beast has contacted Depp, Kravitz and Collins for comment.
“Children of famous parents want to emulate their parents’ fame and can’t,” celebrity therapist Marisa Peer told The Daily Beast. “The children want that fame and they don’t have it, the parents don’t want them to have it because they know the price they pay, and it causes a lot of pain because there is a lot of resentment and envy from the parents. ”
“People like poor Brooklyn Beckham have become a laughingstock, because he tried to become a footballer and then he tried to become a photographer,” Peer added. Beckham, the 23-year-old son of designer Victoria Beckham and British soccer superstar David Beckham, has been brutally mocked and without end meme-parodied for his poorly received 2017 photography book What I see, which includes a particularly qualified shot of a shadow elephant.
“Anyone, celebrity or not, wants to feel like their life has come about because of their own agency and their own ability to manifest their lives in particularly special or affirming ways.” donna rockwellpsychologist and researcher who specializes in celebrity mental health, via The Daily Beast.
For celebrities like Depp and Kravitz, “there’s a dissonance between acknowledging, ‘I got this opportunity because of my parents,’ and the need for autonomous self-actualization,” Rockwell said.
The way in which the public responds to the children of celebrities who deny that they have risen can be particularly savage. “Everyone wants to be famous, and when we see a celebrity get there because their mom or dad made it happen, we feel resentful, because we feel like we didn’t have the same opportunity to stand out because we didn’t have a celebrity. father,” Rockwell said.
Nepotism is also quantifiably harmful; it negatively affects already fragile economies and raises suspicions among aspiring professionals in any field who wonder why they have not succeeded thus far. Even if we as individuals like to believe that we have no interest in celebrities, the narratives unfolding on the world stage reflect deep wounds.
“We long to be special, and we long to have the adulation and affection of other people around us, and when we see that a celebrity has that kind of community around them just because of the luck of their birth, we feel a sense of loss,” she said. Rockwell.