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Money over talent? Why is nepotism taking over the entertainment industry?

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Casper Libero chapter.

Nepo baby is an expression that has become popular on social media, being an abbreviation for nepotism baby. This is used to refer to people who are already established in the entertainment industry, and whose privileged career has been boosted by family members who are often famous in the industry. The big question is, can money and contacts buy a place in the industry?

Nepotism has existed within the film, music, and fashion industries for a long time. However, in recent decades there has been a huge increase and many nepotistic artists are dominating it. Many films and series feature at least one nepotistic actor. 

The real dilemma is whether these people deserve to be there or not. Some have the talent to capture the audience and make them forget that they are there thanks to their parents. An example of a great actress who people forget about her nepotism is Angelina Jolie, daughter of Jon Voight, an American actor and producer. Angelina proved her worth in the film Girl, Interrupted, which earned her an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.  

Other celebrities are harshly criticized on the internet for not doing their jobs well enough and claiming that they don’t have the talent for the profession, since you need skills to sustain a career. 

Model Kendall Jenner, daughter of American businesswoman, producer, and socialite Kris Jenner, is constantly criticized for her lackluster the catwalk performances in fashion shows. However, her criticism increased after she received the title of “the highest-paid supermodel” in a very short time, surpassing supermodel Gisele Bündchen who took years to achieve the feat.

Another question is around fairness to artists who have fought to enter the industry without any privileges and ended up losing opportunities to celebrities with big surnames. But it’s worth highlighting that the industry itself is largely to blame, for giving preference to the artists who will provide more media and engagement for what will be released. 

Gwyneth Paltrow, daughter of actress Blythe Danner and Bruce Paltrow who is a producer and director. In an interview with Hailey Bieber, who is another nepo baby, on the YouTube channel Who’s in my Bathroom. They talk about nepotism in Hollywood: “As the child of someone famous, you have access that other people don’t have, so that’s fair and the playing field isn’t leveled in that way. However, I really feel that once your foot is in the door, that you’ve gotten in unfairly, then you almost have to work twice as hard and be twice as good to prove yourself”, said Paltrow.

The famous nepo babies will continue to have generations in the industry, whether the public likes it or not. But they just need to be aware of the great privilege they have and use it to their advantage, creating and honing talent. It’s also important for the industry to invest in new personalities with talent and charisma who don’t have famous relatives and who have already been successful, such as Jacob Elordi, Paul Mescal, and Ayo Edebiri

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The article above was edited by Giovanna Rodrigues.

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Giovana Fernandes

Casper Libero '27

Aluna de jornalismo da Cásper Líbero, que adora o mundo do entretenimento.