Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

OPINION: Nepo babies hinder aspiring artists from Hollywood stardom

Brooklyn Leighton
Hollywood’s most popular nepotism babies, (L-R) Zoë Kravitz, Dakota Johnson, Maude Apatow, Maya Hawke and Lily-Rose Depp.

Getting into the entertainment industry has never been easy. Many people who wanted to pursue careers in cinema, theater and music have been let down by the media and sometimes even by their parents. Not knowing if you “make it” in Hollywood is the biggest question that haunts everyone who wants to succeed in this field — except the nepo babies. 

“Nepo baby,” short for nepotism baby, is a term that became popular on social media in 2022 and refers to the children of successful parents who have benefited from nepotism. The internet started to point out the children of celebrities in the entertainment industry and judge them, claiming they are only successful due to their bloodlines. It has even become a trend on X and TikTok to talk about the most famous nepo babies, but what people may not realize is that nepotism in Hollywood is nothing new. 

Famous actresses like Jamie Lee Curtis and Drew Barrymore are some of the many people who became successful more easily due to their parent’s connections and the majority of Gen-Z has no clue about it. 

Nepotism, not only in Hollywood but anywhere, has been around for centuries and I don’t think it is going to end now because of a trend. It’s impossible to ignore the vast pool of untapped talent overshadowed by the unfairness of the industry. As nepotism continues to overtake the industry, it raises the question: Are generations of actors and actresses destined to be only nepo babies?

I don’t think so, but I also don’t want to be very optimistic about it either. Nepotism will always exist; what needs to change is the way we approach this as both the audience and the aspiring actors and filmmakers. 

Having self-made artists and musicians in the industry is important to show those who are trying to succeed and climb the entertainment ladder that their dream is possible. However, one must keep their feet on the ground and know that even without nepo babies, they are entering the most competitive field where they are not the only gifted talents. 

It’s undeniable that if you want to make it in the industry you have to have talent — something that a lot of nepo babies possess —  but you also need luck and most of all, connections. 

Lily-Rose Depp, Ben Platt, Dakota Johnson and Maya Hawke, some celebrities who were born into famous families, are already succeeding on the red carpets at such a young age. Yet one can only imagine how many talented young adults are left in the dark because of nepotism.

Hollywood is lacking innovation, and part of it is because of nepotism. At the end of the day, nepotism does more than just exclude amazing artists; it also contributes to a culture of mediocrity. Stories go untold, voices go unheard and the vibrant human connection, where an actor pours their heart out on a role they earned, is reduced to a monotonous chamber of privilege.

I think aspiring artists must fight for a place in the industry and discussions about fairness and equity while measuring the fine line of talent that divide both of them should be discussed more often. Even though we can’t end with the privileges of the nepo babies, we can at least aspire for a more unbiased Hollywood.

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About the Contributors
Elise Coelho
Elise Coelho, Staff Writer | she/her
Elise is a sophomore from São Paulo, Brazil. She is majoring in philosophy with a minor in journalism. She loves to read, write, listen to music and take pictures. Her favorite band is Maneskin, and most of the time you can find her at a theater watching a musical. After graduation she plans to become an author and share her stories with the world.
Brooklyn Leighton
Brooklyn Leighton, Opinion Editor | she/her
Brooklyn is a junior English major with a concentration in creative writing and a minor in journalism from Falmouth, Massachusetts. When she isn’t writing poetry and prose, she is listening to Taylor Swift, watching Marvel movies, or reading. She loves cats, baking, history and spending time with her friends. After graduation, she plans on becoming an author and literary agent. 

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