‘Nepo babies’ cannot ignore their privilege

March 8, 2023

Twenty-three-year-old Lily-Rose Depp, daughter of Hollywood icons Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis, sparked controversy in an interview featured in the December issue of Elle magazine where she dismissed the “nepo baby” label, downplaying the significance of her privileged upbringing. 

Depp’s nonchalant attitude has received criticism from those who believe that well-connected individuals should recognize the advantages they have.

The term “nepotism babies,” or “nepo babies” for short, has been used to describe the children of famous parents who are given preferential treatment in their careers. It has gained popularity in recent years due to the public’s growing awareness and criticism of nepotism and privilege in various fields including entertainment, politics and business. 

Nepotism babies are often offered career opportunities simply because of their family connections. This not only undermines the merit-based systems that are fundamental to a fair society, but it also limits chances for others who may be more qualified or deserving.

When hiring decisions are made based on personal ties rather than merit, the quality of the entertainment industry suffers.

While nepotism has always existed, the rise of social media has created a platform for discussion about this topic.

In the case of Lily-Rose Depp, some have suggested that her career in acting and modeling is a result of her parents’ influence. While she possesses some acting talent, it is undeniable that her famous surname has opened doors for her that would not have been available to others without her connections.

When hiring decisions are made based on personal ties rather than merit, the quality of the entertainment industry suffers.

Actors and actresses who get jobs based on nepotism generally lack the talent and experience to do justice to their roles. 


Nepotism in the entertainment industry can result in cringeworthy performances that detract from the quality of a film or TV show and prevent deserving actors from getting their big break. 

Additionally, the prevalence of nepotism in the entertainment industry negatively impacts diversity, inclusivity and representation. Not only does this discourage talented individuals from diverse backgrounds from pursuing careers in the industry, but it also leads to a lack of representation of different communities and cultures in the media. 

Nepotism has created an exclusive system where opportunities for newcomers without connections are limited and access to success for historically disenfranchised groups is restricted. 

The controversy surrounding Lily-Rose Depp serves as a reminder of the ongoing issue of nepotism. “Nepo babies” must acknowledge their privilege and use their platform to promote equity and fairness rather than perpetuating a destructive cycle that values family ties over talent.

bookmark icon