Nepotism babies don’t deserve your hate, but systemic privilege built into Hollywood does.
Though everyone is born with levels of privilege, celebrity children have more than most, and often use it to further careers in the entertainment industry. While we can’t fault nepotism babies for being born into privilege, we should examine the way the public treats those in such privileged positions.
One of the common critiques against nepotism babies is they only possess mediocre talent and therefore don’t deserve their success, since having famous parents isn’t sufficient reason for success in a meritocracy.
Yet, celebrities like Dakota Johnson, Sofia Richie, and Lily-Rose Depp, enjoy A-list status for bearing their famous parents last names.
The next generation of celebrities isn’t guaranteed success just because of their parents, but it hardly hinders them the way critics suggest it would.
Whether children of celebrities are deserving of their own success isn’t important. Instead, what must be examined is what’s actually supporting their rise to fame.
In questioning how Lily-Rose Depp became famous, one must look to the people who cast her in The Idol, and who chose her to be a brand ambassador for Chanel.
The entertainment industry is always looking to see what—or who—will earn the most profit. Hiring an already reputable name is less risky than casting a new star, which might explain the bias towards nepotism babies within the industry.
The popularity of nepotism babies continues to reflect issues in society. Many people get jobs because they know someone who knows someone. Even in today’s job market, resumes will often make it to the top of the pile because of previously established connections the applicant has with the interviewer.
Even within an academic institution, nepotism babies exist. Queen’s itself is a well-known legacy school, and many of its students are related to CEOs, doctors, and lawyers whose connections may or may not have allowed them to come here. Though it might be easiest to blame the student, it would be more valuable to critique the systems enabling them to come into positions of power.
Consumers of popular media should look beyond the legacy names of rising stars and see who is really making these nepotism babies famous.
Suzy is an MA student in the History department and The Journal’s Assistant Arts Editor
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