Hollywood is full of “nepo babies”. It sounds like some kind of kid’s craze – perhaps some kind of new Tamagotchi or Neopet – but the reality is much more unsightly. Of course, the term refers to the children of celebrities who go on to pursue careers in show business. Maya Hawkes, Lily Rose Depps and Jaden Smiths of the World. This is hardly a new development; From Judy Garland and Liza Minelli to Bridges and Fondas, Hollywood has always loved a dynasty. But now, it seems more than ever, the children who are famous in their treasure trove are famous on their parents’ velvet robes. And people don’t have it.
On Monday, model and musician Lourdes Leon – Madonna’s eldest daughter – gave an interview to The Cut in which she discussed her own “baby” status. “I want to feel like I deserve everything, not like I’ve been given everything,” she said. “And, yes, there’s an undeniable privilege that I’d be stupid not to realize… The nepotism kids are usually pretty horrible, and my parents raised me to be smarter. That’s a lot.” Cautious negation interrupting remarks often adorn such interviews. (Just a few days earlier, Lily Rose Depp had refuted the idea that her lineage had helped her take on projects: “I can say with certainty that nothing will ever get you in the way. get the role unless you fit the role.”) But that doesn’t mean it’s all that much. The truth is, many of Hollywood’s child stars have a responsibility to fully acknowledge their privilege. Necrotism must be brought to the light of day if it is to be faced.
What Leon probably knows is that, to celebrities, there’s no way to talk about privilege without sounding deceitful or ungrateful. As society moves towards equality, “nepo baby” has become a dirty word. Some remain immune to stigma, or overcome it through sheer talent – no one thinks Nicolas Cage or Laura Dern are merely Beverly Hills lottery winners. However, others become embodiment of the worst kind of social imbalance. (Consider the difference in fame between Colin and Chet Hanks.)
I realize that this is becoming a bit “drunk driving can kill a lot of people, but it also helps a lot of people get to work on time”, when I mean the opposite. Nepotism pervades society; It’s a problem that needs to be addressed urgently and systematically, but for that to happen it needs to be talked about. Understood. It is not something that can be extinguished or even, indeed, countered by the law, only mitigated.
In Hollywood, the framework of nepotism is harder to uproot than in other industries. The entertainment industry’s distinctive financial ecosystem plays an important role. For a mid- or low-budget product, hiring a celebrity’s child guarantees free and immediate publicity, curiosity, and name recognition without the fees that often come with it. . It’s likely to keep their famous parents in the studio’s good graces. Social media has also streamlined the process. Instagram has brought many nepotist babies into the limelight from an early age; some to Hollywood’s doorstep with millions of followers.
Then there’s the genetic factor. I think this comes down to innate talent – it stands to reason that there must be something special in Henry Fonda’s DNA that makes for his charismatic on-screen acting. But on a more superficial level, it focuses on appearances. Call it what you want – sex appeal; cinematicism. Whether we are talking about movies or record labels, showbiz always favors good looking people. When two movie actors have kids, chances are their kids will grow up to be like movies. Combine that with the dietary and fitness perks of a wealthy upbringing, and you’re playing with some seriously loaded dice.
On the contrary, in the long run, there are also ways in which the entertainment industry values talent more than most other fields of work. If Miley Cyrus can’t sing, she won’t perform at the Super Bowl. If Nic Cage can’t hit theaters, soon studios will stop casting him. The show business is a competition for popularity, and you can only get so far based on inherited goodwill.
I, like many in my profession, am a beneficiary of nepotism. Like many such beneficiaries, I can’t help but play the apologetic in my head. I told myself that my foray into journalism was benign and only partly – a foot in the door rather than a silver tray. I told myself there are more serious offenders out there, and besides, don’t I know how to string a nice line with the next guy? But it doesn’t change anything. Even if you ignore the multitude of other ways, I am unduly favored in our country’s professional environment – as a college-educated, non-disabled white male from the south of England. – then it is an irrevocable fact that I have been given opportunities elsewhere. do not have. Doubting yourself for a role is a small and inevitable price to pay, and an ugly price to complain about.
So what’s the solution? Stopping the evil “nepo baby” trend will require a comprehensive and interspersed re-evaluation of how both the entertainment industry and society are structured. Nepotism in Hollywood, and nepotism in general, leads to broader social divisions that only a large-scale redistribution of wealth can hope to resolve. For now, just talking about it is probably enough. The first step is always to admit there is a problem.
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/comment/hollywoods-nepo-babies-should-just-drag-their-privilege-into-the-open-42164909.html Hollywood’s ‘Infant Babies’ Should Just Pull Their Privileges Out