Nepo Babies: What Are They and Why Is Everyone Talking About Them?

  • The term “nepo baby” has gone viral online, and was even shortlisted for Macquarie Dictionary’s word of the year.
  • It refers to celebrities, usually in the entertainment industry, who may have benefited from having famous parents.
  • Celebrities like Kate Hudson, Charlie Sheen and Miley Cyrus can be classified as “nepos”.
What do Lily Collins, Scott Eastwood and Angelina Jolie have in common?
Not only are they famous, but they also have famous parents.
Collins, an actor and model, is the daughter of English singer Phil Collins, actor Eastwood is the son of American actor and director Clint Eastwood, and actor Angelina Jolie is the daughter of American actor Jon Voight.
If names like these, or others like Kate Hudson and Jaden Smith, have popped up on your social media lately, it’s probably been in conjunction with the term “nepo baby.”
The hashtag has only been around for a while, but it’s quickly gained traction online, and now it seems everyone on the internet is talking about “nepos.”

But what does the term really mean, why is it getting so much interest and is it bad?

What is a “nepo baby”?

The term ‘nepo baby’ gained popularity on Twitter and it is the practice of a person being favored (usually in professional circumstances) by having a family member in a position of power.

Although nepotism is prolific in business and media, the term “nepo baby” is generally used in relation to the entertainment industry and illustrates the fact that many successful actors and musicians also have fathers in the industry

Hollywood sign and a baby

The term ‘nepo nadó’ is often used to describe youngsters with famous or successful parents in the entertainment industry. Source: SBS News

Earlier this month, the Macquarie dictionary included the word in its shortlist defining it as “a celebrity, often in the entertainment industry, who has a famous father”.

Who are the famous ‘nepos’?

American actor Kate Hudson, daughter of actor Goldie Hawn and actor and musician Bill Hudson, can be classified as a ‘nepo nepo’.
Willow and Jaden Smith, children of American actors Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, have both been working in entertainment since they were young, with Jaden starring alongside his father in The Pursuit of Happyness when he was eight .
Stranger Things star Maya Hawke, daughter of actors Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke, also falls into the category.
daughter of singers Beyonce and Jay Z, she’s only 10 years old, but she’s been featured in her mother’s music since she was a child and won a Grammy in 2020 for her involvement. She is a ‘nepo baby’.
Brooklyn Beckham, son of fashion designer and former English singer Victoria and ex-footballer David Beckham, is neither an actor nor a singer, but he is still a ‘nepo baby’. She has dabbled in numerous careers including photography, social media, modeling and most recently cooking.

He has no formal qualifications but was hired to shoot a Burberry campaign when he was 16, has published a photography book and launched a cooking web series in 2022.

Is being a “nepo baby” bad?

The term “baby nephew” is not necessarily an insult, but is often viewed negatively and suggests that a person’s high profile is the result of a family member’s fame or connections rather than their own talent and hard work .
Criticism of “nepos” and nepotism in Hollywood often centers on the argument that the children of celebrities have an automatic advantage through their family connections, while those who don’t know the “right people” often struggle to be considered for auditions.

In an industry where connections are immeasurably valuable, ‘nepo babies’ have a significant privilege, but many actors or musicians who have been given that label don’t appreciate it.

Leslie Mann, Maude Apatow, Iris Apatow and Judd Apatow.

Maude Apatow (second from left) is one of the stars of the hit show Euphoria, and the daughter of actor Leslie Mann and director Judd Apatow. Source: Getty / Tibrina Hobson

In a November interview with Elle magazine, actor and model Lily-Rose Depp, daughter of American actor Johnny Depp and French singer, actor and model Vanessa Paradis, said she didn’t think having parents celebrities help young actors get roles.

“People will have preconceived ideas about you or how you got there, and I can definitely say that nothing will get you the role except being right for the role,” he said.
“The internet cares a lot more about who your family is than the people who run things for you.
“You might get your foot in the door, but you still have your foot in the door. There’s a lot of work after that.”

Depp’s first role was in the 2014 film Tusk, where he acted alongside his father.

On Tuesday, English singer and actor Lily Allen – the daughter of an actor and a film producer – tweeted about the concept of ‘nepo babies’, criticizing the focus on the entertainment industry.
“The nepo kids you should be worried about are the ones who work for law firms, the ones who work for banks and the ones who work in politics, if we’re talking about real-world consequences and robbing people of opportunities,” he said. he wrote.
he clarified that his education had created opportunities for him and said that he had been trying to make a point about inequality in society more broadly.
“I’m almost 40 years old and I’m beyond happy, in fact I think it’s important to reveal what a privileged upbringing I’ve had and how it’s created so many opportunities for me,” she wrote.

“I think the nepo babies are being scapegoated a little bit here, but there’s a larger, societal conversation about wealth inequality, the lack of programs and funding, and I guess that was the point I was trying to make, maybe wrong..”

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