Some celebrities have asserted that, in fact, it is fair, because what they’re passing on isn’t advantage — it’s the “family business.” Responding to a question about his son Truman appearing in his new movie, Tom Hanks told Reuters: “We have four kids, they are all very creative, they are all involved in some brand of storytelling, and if we were a plumbing supply business or if we ran the florist’s shop down the street, the whole family would be putting in time at some point, even if it was just inventory at the end of the year.”

A famous name can open it. Lily-Rose (daughter of Johnny) Depp argues, “Maybe you get your foot in the door, but you still just have your foot in the door. There’s a lot of work that comes after that.” Well, yes, but in a business where success often depends on breakthroughs and lucky breaks, one shouldn’t underestimate that initial advantage.

To her credit, Allison Williams (star of “M3gan” and “Girls”; daughter of news anchor Brian) doesn’t underestimate it. She told New York magazine, “All that people are looking for is an acknowledgement that it’s not a level playing field. It’s just unfair. Period, end of the story, and no one’s really working that hard to make it fair.”

And maybe some of us would rather dish about Hollywood nepo babies than think about the ways we, too, participate in and profit from inherited wealth and privilege. I’m thinking about my own Ivy League parents here — I just happened to go to the same college my father did.

In response to the nepo criticism, self-proclaimed “OG Nepo Baby” Jamie Lee (daughter of Janet Leigh and Tony) Curtis complained on Instagram, “there’s not a day in my professional life that goes by without my being reminded that I am the daughter of movie stars.”

This content was originally published here.

Picture of Michael Bourdon

Michael Bourdon


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