Hollywood stars are divided over the latest buzzword: ‘Nepo baby’.
Short for nepotism, or the practice of favoring friends and family for work, the phrase has gained traction among social media users, who have used the term with both fascination and repulsion after learning that rising stars may have had help at the entrance to the show.
The debate was sparked once again in Vulture’s cover story, “The Year of the Nepo Baby,” in December.
Famous offspring such as Kate Hudson, Jamie Lee Curtis and Dan Levy have responded to the controversial label, with some celebrities slamming claims of favoritism and others acknowledging their unique upbringing.
Tom Hanks adds commentary on Hollywood’s ‘family business’
Tom Hanks waded into the “nepo baby” debate while promoting his latest film “A Man Called Otto,” which also stars his son Truman. ET followed up with Hanks about the comments he made about his “family business” being a Hollywood actress.
“I think my kids are all like Renaissance artists, you know? (They’re) good at whatever they choose to be,” she told the report. “But the question here is, can you make it stick? You have to have a passion, you have to have a drive. And yes, our household existed in the company town that is Los Angeles.”
Hanks and actress wife Rita Wilson have four grown children: Elizabeth, Colin, Truman and Chet, all of whom act.
Hailey Bieber Embraces ‘Nepo Baby’ Fashion And Gets Support From Gwyneth Paltrow: ‘I Might Need Some Of These’
Hailey Bieber, known as a member of the Baldwin family (she is the daughter of Stephen Baldwin and the niece of Alec Baldwin), acknowledged the conversation, stepping out wearing a cropped “Nepo Baby” T-shirt.
The 26-year-old model – wife of pop star Justin Bieber – previously spoke to Gwyneth Paltrow, daughter of producer Bruce Paltrow and actress Blythe Danner, about the topic last summer on her YouTube series, Who’s In My Bathroom? ” In the conversation, Paltrow said that those whose parents are in the industry have to work harder to prove that they deserve their success.
“People are ready to pull you down and say, ‘You don’t belong there,’ or ‘You’re only there because of your dad or your mom,'” she told Bieber. “Nobody in the world, especially anyone who doesn’t know you, should have a negative impact on your path or the decision you make.”
When InStyle shared the photo of Bieber’s top on Instagram, Paltrow commented, “I might need some of these.”
Kaia Gerber on nepotism: ‘No artist is going to sacrifice their vision for someone’s child’
In an interview with Elle, model and actress Kaia Gerber, whose parents are models Cindy Crawford and Rande Gerber, said she would “not deny the privilege” her family afforded her and downplayed the role of nepotism in acting.
“With acting, it’s so different. No artist is going to sacrifice their vision for someone’s child. That’s just not how art is done,” he said. “Also, no one wants to work with someone who is annoying, not easy to work with, and not nice. Yes, nepotism is rampant, but I think if that was actually what people were doing, we would see even more than that.
Kate Hudson Says: ‘If You Work Hard… It Doesn’t Matter’
When it comes to the nepotism debate, Hudson says she’s “not interested.”
“I don’t care where you come from or what your relationship is with the business,” said Hudson, who was raised by her mother Goldie Hawn and longtime partner Kurt Russell., he said in an interview with The Independent in December. “If you work hard and kill it, it’s okay.”
Jamie Lee Curtis Says Label Designed To ‘Reduce’ And ‘Hurt’
Curtis, the daughter of Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh, took to Instagram in December to defend herself against false assumptions that all nepotism babies are automatically talentless or undeserving of their fame.
“The current debate about nepo babies is simply designed to try to diminish, belittle and hurt,” the ‘Halloween Ends’ star wrote at the time.
“I navigated 44 years with the advantages that my relative and mirrored fame brought me, I don’t pretend they don’t exist, that try to tell me I have no value on my own. It’s funny how we immediately make assumptions and snide remarks that someone related to someone else who is famous in their field for their art would somehow have no talent at all.”
‘OG Nepo Baby’: Jamie Lee Curtis Says Label Designed To ‘Reduce’ And ‘Hurt’
Dan Levy “never really turned” to Eugene Levy for acting help
Dan Levy rose to fame when he starred opposite his father, Eugene Levy (“American Pie”) in the Emmy Award-winning series “Schitt’s Creek.” In his acting career, he said he “never turned to my dad for anything” for fear of being labeled nepotism.
“Entertainment seems to be the one place where children pursuing their parents’ jobs, which is inherently natural, is viewed with great skepticism. And so for my whole life, until (‘Schitt’s Creek’), I was always trying to do everything on my own, I guess to prove, mostly to myself, that I could do it,’ Levy told Page Six in 2018. .
Lily-Rose Depp on nepotism criticism: ‘It makes no sense’
In November, Depp opened up about her experiences as the daughter of Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis.
“People are going to have preconceived ideas about you or how you got there, and I can say for sure that nothing is going to get you the part other than being right for the part,” Depp, who stars in “The HBO Max’s Idol,” he said.
“Maybe you get your foot in the door, but you still have your foot in the door. There’s a lot of work that comes after that.”
Zoë Kravitz: ‘It’s perfectly normal for people to be in the family business’
When discussing the issue in November, Kravitz, who is the daughter of Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet, said it was “very normal for people to be involved in the family business.”
“It’s literally where the last names came from. You were a blacksmith if your family was, like, Black family,” the 34-year-old “Batman” star told GQ.
Jack Quaid didn’t want people to think ‘I’m just riding on my parents’ coattails’
Jack Quaid, known for his role in “The Boys”, has previously spoken about his desire to distance himself from his parents, actors Meg Ryan and Dennis Quaid, and even considered changing his last name.
“I think at first, I was like, ‘Oh, do I like people? Do they think I’m just riding on my parents’ coattails?’ and all that,” Quaid, 30, said in a June interview with Thrillist. “I’ve made an effort to focus on it less and just really try to embrace it.”
“Nepo babies” in Hollywood: What famous families say about equity in the industry?
Contributors: Elise Brisco, Erin Jensen
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Tom Hanks, Kaia Gerber, Hailey Bieber, more on nepotism baby debate