There is a lot of discourse surrounding what people are calling ‘nepotism babies’ online with various arguments on both ends. The term is shrouded with many meanings. For starters, a nepotism baby could be someone with extremely famous (and therefore wealthy) parents, the obvious kind—take the Smith kids, Jaden and Willow, or Lily Rose Depp for example. It could also be used to describe someone who was born to parents with connections or even those with a legacy of entertainers in their family line. That being said, many point out that those with familial ‘connections’ (who aren’t famous themselves) should not be considered nepotism babies. Either way, there have also been cases made as to those nepotism babies who actually have some talent and are ‘worthy’ of their roles in the industry, and those who just aren’t.
Regardless of the angle you find yourself leaning towards, we have compiled a list of celebrities who may fit the bill.
Maude Apatow, who plays our favourite Lexi in Euphoria, is the daughter of Judd Apatow—a well established director, producer, writer and comedian—and actress Leslie Mann, who has starred in movies like The 40-Year-Old Virgin, 17 Again, The Other Woman and This is 40.
The creator of Euphoria is also a nepotism baby. His father Barry Levinson is a film director, producer, actor and writer.
Angelina Jolie is the daughter of actor parents Jon Voight (Oscar winner) and Marcheline Bertrand.
Emma Roberts’ connection to Hollywood is well-known, most notably by her relation to one of the most famous actresses in the business: Julia Roberts. The younger Roberts is her niece but her father, Eric Roberts, who starred in Suits, is also a notable actor.
While his father Marc Chalamet is an editor for the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund, his entertainment roots can be traced back to his mother’s side of the family. Nicole Flender, who is now a real estate agent, was a Broadway dancer, actor and daughter of writer and filmmaker Harold Flender. Chalamet’s maternal uncle was also a filmmaker while his maternal aunt was a writer and television producer.
Kate Hudson is the daughter of uber-famous celebrity parents. While her mother is Academy Award-winning actress Goldie Hawn, her father is the renowned actor and musician Bill Hudson. Her stepfather is another well-known name in the industry: Kurt Russell.
Dakota Johnson’s family has some history in the entertainment industry. Born to actor parents Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith, the actress is third-generation famous with her maternal grandmother—Tippi Hedren—being one of Alfred Hitchcock’s muses. Her former stepfather was also the famous Spanish actor Antonia Banderas.
Star of Emily in Paris—which has previously come under fire for ‘rigging’ its Golden Globes nominations—Lily Collins is the daughter of iconic and legendary drummer, writer and music producer Phil Collins.
Though not uber-famous, Kristen Stewart’s parents were also in the entertainment business. Her mother is a script supervisor and her father a stage manager who worked on a large number of projects including the 2014 Oscar Red Carpet Live.
Blake Lively’s family was also neck-deep in the entertainment industry. Her mother is a talent scout and her father was an actor. They starred alongside each other in The Sisterhood of The Travelling Pants.
Kiera Knightley was also born to actor parents: Will Knightley and Sharman Macdonald.
Another actor with a film legacy in his family, Pine’s maternal grandmother Anne Gwynne was—according to the Los Angeles Times—“a horror [movie] icon at Universal in the 1940s.” His maternal grandfather, on the other hand, Max M. Gilford was president of the Hollywood Bar Association. His parents were also very successful actors.
Jennifer Anniston was also born to actor parents and guess what Friends fans? Her father John Anniston was actually an actor on the real-life Days of Our Lives and has also appeared in numerous other projects. Her godfather, a very close friend of her dad, was Telly Savalas, a legendary actor whose career lasted over 40 years from 1950 to the 1990s.
Remember when the shitshow—pardon my French—that is Emily in Paris received not one but two Golden Globe nominations at the beginning of February? I know you do, and you’re most definitely still raging about the fact that Michaela Coel’s I May Destroy You got zero. Even a writer on Emily in Paris said the latter deserved a Golden Globe nomination! At that time, we all wondered what the heck was wrong with the Golden Globe Awards. Well, we now have a worrying answer: corruption.
According to a report from The Los Angeles Times, over 30 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA, the voting body that determines the Golden Globe nominees) were flown to Paris by Paramount to visit the set of Emily in Paris. They stayed for two nights at the five-star Peninsula Paris hotel, where rooms cost around $1,400 a night. There was also a news conference and a lunch at the Musée des Arts Forains, a private museum where the series was being filmed.
“They treated us like kings and queens,” one member who participated in the trip said. While HFPA rules forbid members from accepting gifts valued at over $125 for each project, there are clearly workarounds that have been exploited. The Emily in Paris ‘experience’ being one, and the opportunity to take a selfie with an A-lister being another, corruption seems to run deep.
The Los Angeles Times first launched this investigation in wake of the lawsuit from Norwegian journalist Kjersti Flaa against the HFPA after being denied membership. Flaa accused the organisation of being a “culture of corruption” that operated like a cartel where members would receive “thousands of dollars in emoluments” from studios and networks while sticking to a “code of silence.” However, a judge ruled in favour of the HFPA, explaining that Flaa didn’t suffer economic or professional hardship as a result of her membership denial.
Following the judge’s dismissal, HFPA attorney Marvin Putnam of Latham & Watkins said that the group had been vindicated, calling the suit nothing more than “a transparent attempt to shake down the HFPA based on jealousy, not merit.”
Within the HFPA, however, Flaa’s suit had struck a nerve with some members who had hoped it might force the organisation to make, what they see as long-overdue, changes. “The dismissal was disappointing,” said one current HFPA member, who like many quoted in the Los Angeles Times article declined to be identified out of fear of retaliation from others in the group. “I thought it would shake things up. We are an archaic organisation. I still think the HFPA needs outside pressure to change,” they added.
The investigation further found that the HFPA regularly sends out payments to its members, a practice that experts believe could go against IRS guidelines. Individuals have reportedly received nearly $2 million for serving on various committees and performing other tasks.
Over its nearly eight-decade history, the HFPA has been the centre of a string of embarrassing scandals, lawsuits and often blistering criticism of its membership. The group has been the butt of jokes even from the stage of its own awards show. Hosting in 2016, Ricky Gervais dismissed the Golden Globe Awards as “worthless,” calling the ceremony “a bit of metal that some nice old confused journalists wanted to give you in person so they could meet you and have a selfie with you.” In a 2014 interview, actor Gary Oldman said the group was “90 nobodies having a wank” and called for a boycott of the “silly game” their awards represent.
In the run-up to the 78th Golden Globe Awards ceremony planned to run on 28 February, questions persist around the association’s legitimacy, the qualifications of its members and its ethics. “Interviews with more than 50 people — including studio publicists, entertainment executives and seven current and former members — as well as court filings and internal financial documents and communications, paint a picture of an embattled organization still struggling to shake its reputation as a group whose awards or nominations can be influenced with expensive junkets and publicity swag,” writes The Los Angeles Times.
The HFPA has faced further criticism for this year’s nominations, which did not include several Black-led Oscar contenders such as Da 5 Bloods, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Judas and the Black Messiah and I May Destroy You. Several other picks bewildered critics, including a best motion picture nod in the comedy or musical category for pop star Sia’s widely criticised directorial debut Music.
“We do not control the individual votes of our members…we seek to build cultural understanding through film and TV and recognise how the power of creative storytelling can educate people around the world to issues of race, representation, and orientation,” an HFPA spokesperson said in a statement.