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  • Writer's pictureIsabella Schmitt

Navigating the Reinvention of Hollywood's “Nepo Babies”

In recent years, we've seen a surge in new buzzwords in the entertainment industry. The latest entry in the buzzword lexicon stems from all the celebrities who come from privileged backgrounds who often benefit from their famous parents' influence and connections. Of course, we're talking about nepotism babies. Lily-Rose Depp, daughter of Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis, is one of the most recent examples. A recent Elle interview went live where Lily promptly disagrees with the nepotism slander, arguing that, "if somebody's mom or dad is a doctor, and then the kid becomes a doctor, you're not going to be like, 'Well, you're only a doctor because your parent is a doctor.' It's like, 'No, I went to medical school and trained.'" Keep in mind, Lily-Rose is a 5'3 runway model and the face, or muse, of Chanel. Make of that what you will.

Despite the controversies surrounding nepotism, HBO's latest controversial hit, "The Idol," presents an interesting opportunity to explore how nepo-babies like Lily-Rose Depp are attempting to rebrand their image and prove their talent in the fiercely competitive world of entertainment.

Nepotism has long been a contentious issue in Hollywood. It raises questions of fairness, equal opportunity, and whether talent alone is enough to achieve success in the entertainment industry. Critics argue that nepotism often limits opportunities for deserving individuals from diverse backgrounds, leading to a lack of representation and stifling creativity. However, the rise of nepotism celebrities has also prompted a broader conversation about privilege, family legacies, and the importance of individual talent and hard work.

HBO's "The Idol" recently wrapped up its first (and final) season shining a light on Lily-Rose Depp, who stars in the lead role of Jocelyn, a young female celebrity trying to be the most relevant and promiscuous pop artist in America, while constantly being on the cusp of a mental breakdown. Though Rotten Tomatoes bestowed a 3.4/10 rating on this series, with it receiving scathing reviews that noted it as a "sleazy" and "gross" watch, others have said Lily-Rose gave a great performance, and the show has definitely served as her opportunity to reshape public perception and prove her talent beyond her famous parents. By taking on this challenging role, she has done well to distance herself from her family and that pesky little Elle interview, and shift the focus onto her skills.

It's fair to say that navigating the path of rebranding in the face of nepotism brings its fair share of challenges. Celebrities like Lily-Rose Depp might actually be top actors or models on their own, but no matter what, they'll always have to deal with scrutiny and doubt from both industry insiders and the public. There is often intense criticism of their performances, and any missteps can reinforce the perception of nepotism at play, making it so that, in theory, they have to work twice as hard, or at least they should.

While we can't ignore the problems of nepotism in Hollywood, it's essential to remember that talent and passion can exist even in those who were born with a silver spoon. Critics shouldn't discount the achievements of those who genuinely excel in their work, regardless of their background. That being said, Lily-Rose Depp, and similar celebrities, should probably find a way to better acknowledge, own, and lean into the privilege and opportunities that come with having had celebrity parents pave their way. Coming from a privileged background doesn’t always have to be a bad thing, but it is still “a thing” that should be addressed.


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