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Celebrities Who Reject the 'Nepo Baby' Label for Their Children

Celebrities Who Reject the ‘Nepo Baby’ Label for Their Children

Lakers’ rookie Bronny James recently lit up social media and news outlets after getting drafted 55th overall. Many attribute his chance to play in the league to his father being LeBron James—the ultimate nepo baby. Bronny isn’t the only person to deal with this issue, as nepotism is prevalent in Hollywood. The debate around nepotism in Hollywood continues to heat up, with many children of celebrities facing criticism for their perceived advantages. Yet, a number of stars and their offspring are pushing back against the “nepo baby” label, arguing that hard work and talent, rather than family connections, are the real keys to their success. Here’s a look at some celebrities and their famous parents who have spoken out on this controversial topic.

Maude Apatow, daughter of actress Leslie Mann and director Judd Apatow, rose to fame with her role in “Euphoria.” Despite her parents’ established careers, Maude acknowledges the privilege but insists that her success is based on her efforts. She expressed her frustration in an interview with Net-A-Porter, saying, “At first I was sad… I try not to let it get to me because I obviously understand that I’m in such a lucky position. A lot of people [in a similar position] have proven themselves over the years, so I’ve got to keep going and make good work.”

As the daughter of actor Johnny Depp and model Vanessa Paradis, Lily-Rose Depp often faces accusations of nepotism. In a candid interview with Elle, she addressed the issue: “The internet seems to care a lot about that kind of stuff. People are going to have preconceived ideas about you or how you got there, and I can definitely say that nothing is going to get you the part except for being right for the part.” She emphasized that her family name might open doors, but it doesn’t guarantee success.

Jamie Lee Curtis, whose parents were Hollywood icons Janet Leigh and Tony Curtis, has been open about how nepotism has benefited her career. In an interview with The New Yorker, she remarked, “It’s important for me, given that I’m this bougie princess from Los Angeles — even if I claim I worked hard, I’ve never really worked hard a day in my life.” Curtis acknowledges her privilege while also highlighting the hard work needed to sustain a career in Hollywood.

Jack Quaid, son of Meg Ryan and Dennis Quaid, has made a name for himself with roles in “The Boys” and other projects. He told Thrillist, “I knew that people would constantly say, ‘Oh, I know how he got that job,’… And they’re still going to say that. It’s fine. But as long as I knew how I got there, that would be enough.” Jack emphasized his desire to be recognized for his talent rather than his lineage.

Will Smith’s children, Willow and Jaden, have pursued careers in music and acting, often alongside their famous father. Will Smith explained his perspective on SiriusXM: “I grew up in a family business, so for me, my father and my mother taught me on the family business… I get to teach them in the actual moments of creation, so I was willing to have that backlash.” Smith believes that working closely with his children is part of their learning process and growth.

Vanessa Paradis, the mother of Lily-Rose Depp, shared her thoughts on the nepo baby debate with Madame Figaro: “A child whose parents are famous already has a part of [their] personality removed from [them]… Doors open for these ‘children of,’ but they are not always the right doors.” Paradis underscored the importance of talent and hard work, noting that her daughter has faced rejections and worked tirelessly to hone her craft.

Supermodel Gigi Hadid has been open about her privileged background, but she also stresses the importance of work ethic. In an interview with Vogue Australia, she stated, “There are so many girls who come [from] all over the world and work their arses off… I wanted to stand next to them backstage and for them to look at me and respect me.” Hadid believes that acknowledging privilege while proving oneself through hard work is crucial.

Gwyneth Paltrow, who has faced nepotism claims herself as the daughter of actress Blythe Danner, spoke to Bustle about her daughter Apple Martin. She said, “Now there’s this whole nepo baby culture and judgment that exists around kids of famous people… I just hope that my children always feel free to pursue exactly what they want to do, irrespective of what anybody’s going to think or say.” Paltrow advocates for her children’s freedom to follow their passions without being overshadowed by their lineage.

Source: Various