Nepo Babies: Why Is Generation Z Just Now Learning About Them, And What Are They?

what is a nepo baby

The word “nepotism” is a shortened form of the word “protege,” so that’s the answer to your first question. Baby here means the offspring of a wealthy parent. The term “nephew baby” does not necessarily refer to a young person.

It’s a common expression used by people of all ages. Back in February, a tweet about the cast of the television show Euphoria sparked the nepotism baby discourse.

There are a lot of reasons why this tweet is so impressive. The first is that the “film director” in question is actually Judd Apatow, one of the most influential people in the film industry. In addition, it was later revealed online that Sam Levinson, Euphoria’s showrunner, is a nepotistic hire (his dad directed Good Morning, Vietnam).

By the time that nuggets of information surfaced, the discussion of nepotism had reached a boiling point (and been shortened to nepo because of too many syllables). TikTok users were able to easily identify the famous parents of dozens of popular young stars, including Zo Kravitz, Maya Hawke, and Dakota Johnson (yes, anyone who was old enough to read People magazine in 2007 already knew).

In 2007, however, many people who were too young to read People magazine learned for the first time that nepo babies were dominating the media landscape.

What, Is This Something That Only Happens In Hollywood?

Nepotism results in offspring, as Lily Allen pointed out. (Howdy, Justin Trudeau.) While discussions about nepotism in regard to babies have mostly focused on the most high-profile cases (celebrities), the underlying outrage is much broader.

Success in any field is simplified by the presence of inherited wealth. For this reason, New York Magazine’s in-depth look distinguishes between being a nepotistic heir and being born into wealth.

Having a parent with connections and money makes it much easier to get ahead in life.

You can bet that there will be second, third, and even fourth (in Drew Barrymore’s case) generation dynasties working within a field if it is well compensated, well regarded, or just highly visible (hello, journalism).

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Introduction To The Phenomenon Of The “Nephew Baby”

The term “nepo baby” is used to describe the offspring of powerful people who have benefited from their parents’ connections through nepotism in fields such as show business (fashion and media are two of the other big ones). However, many nepo babies later claim that their parentage is a burden when it comes to carving out their own identities, in contrast to bootstrappers and naturally talented “nobodies.”

Introduction To The Phenomenon Of The Nephew Baby

The second season of HBO’s controversial hit “Euphoria” sparked the nepo baby rumor mill this year. Some younger viewers were surprised to learn that Maude Apatow is the daughter of “Knocked Up” and “This Is 40” filmmaker Judd Apatow and actress Leslie Mann.

Director Sam Levinson is a “nepo-baby”; he is the son of the acclaimed filmmaker Barry Levinson and previously collaborated with his father on the script for “The Wizard of Lies,” which he also directed for HBO.

Some young TikTok users were taken aback by these links, prompting them to look into additional, less publicized cases of nepotism. (Many of the most prominent nepotistic offspring reached their zenith of fame before Generation Z was born.) Videos like these helped spread the term “nepo baby.”

After Lily-Rose Depp, daughter of Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis, rejected the term “nephew baby” in an interview with Elle in November, the nepotism debate reached a fever pitch. Internet users are more concerned with your personal life than the casting directors. You might be able to get your foot in the door, but that’s all it is: a foot. There is a tonne of work that needs to be done after that.

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The Who’s Of The Nepotism Baby Universe

Vulture’s article made it clear that the number of nepotistic offspring is practically limitless. Maya Hawke, daughter of Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke, and Riley Keough, indie darling and Elvis’ granddaughter, are two such rising stars.

The Who's Who Of The Nepotism Baby Universe

Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Hudson, and Zo Kravitz are just a few examples of well-known nepotistic offspring. Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet also produced Kate Hudson, and Gwyneth’s mother Goldie Hawn is stepmother to Kurt Russell (Blythe Danner, director Bruce Paltrow).

Unexpected items included: Two of the three people behind the digital shorts for “Saturday Night Live” Please “‘s Don’t Destroy” are actually offspring of “SNL” producers. The trio graduated from New York University.

The Mara and Rooney families, both of which were early supporters of the National Football League, are made up of sisters Rooney and Kate. And Katherine Waterston, who plays Tina in “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Her,” is Sam Waterston’s daughter (the latter of “Grace and Frankie”) with a British accent.

Some people are so gifted or well-established that the stereotype that they were handed their positions because of family connections is irrelevant.

The actress Jamie Lee Curtis is the offspring of Janet Leigh and the actor Tony Curtis. She is the granddaughter of “The Birds” star Tippi Hedren, as well as the daughter of “Working Girl” actress Melanie Griffith and “Miami Vice” actor Don Johnson, so Dakota Johnson has a long line of famous ancestors. Furthermore, Laura Dern’s parents, Diane Ladd and Bruce Dern, were both nominated for Academy Awards but did not win.

So, How Has Everyone Responded To This?

Lily Allen, the daughter of actor Keith Allen and film producer Alison Owen, has been vocal in her defense of nepotism on social media.

Allen, whose brother is actor Alfie Allen, wrote, “If we’re talking about real-world consequences and robbing people of opportunity, the nepo babies y’all should be worrying about are the ones working for legal firms, the ones working for banks, and the ones working in politics.” “BUT that’s none of my business.”

So, How Has Everyone Responded To This

“Because I’m a nepo baby, and both my parents are super talented,” she explained when asked why both her and her father were “blue” on Wikipedia (meaning they had links to their own pages).

She went on to another respondent, saying, “We don’t care about money or proximity to power yet as children, but we do crave stability and love, nurturing.

Because their parents are likely narcissists, many nepo babies grow up without the necessities. Furthermore, the entertainment industry is not exactly kid-friendly (think: months-long tours and shoots in exotic locations).

As one expert put it, “many of these kids haven’t figured out yet that it can be hard to see one’s own privilege when you’re still processing childhood trauma.”

Allen elaborated on her position and the feelings of nepotism’s offspring in a later response.

With her remarks about nepotism, she wrote, “Look, I seem to have riled people up.” I am nearly 40 years old and have never been happier; in fact, I believe it is crucial to reveal the privileged upbringing I have had and how it has afforded me so many opportunities.


The term “nepo baby” is used to describe the offspring of influential people who are given preferential treatment in fields such as show business (fashion and media are two of the other big ones).


  • Karan Sirari

    I am an author and a public speaker. I was born in India and have travelled to many different countries. I have a masters in public communication from California University and I love to write about famous peoples from different industries.


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