March 24, 2022

If you’re active on social media, you may have realized that the conversation revolving around nepotism or “nepo babies” has been discussed a lot, with the hashtag #nepotismbaby gathering up to 10 million views on TikTok. 

Have you ever watched a movie or show is on and asked yourself, “who is this new upcoming actor/singer?” Or,” How did this person become famous?” To find out they are related to someone in the industry. Well, that’s nepotism in a nutshell.

Definition: The term ‘nepotism baby’ or “nepo-baby” are the children of celebrities following their famous parents’ footsteps and pursuing careers in the spotlight.

Anyone who is somewhat aware of popular culture will know famous families, and an upper hand in Hollywood is nothing new. If anything, they are the factors that make a celebrity. Most actors, models, and artists like it’ ‘because of their connections and privilege with being related to people in dominant places.

Rather than talking about every younger nepo-baby celeb, I’m going to go over two of the most famous examples.

Composite Getty Images/Netflix

Firstly, we have Maya Hawke, a 23-year-old actress, mostly known for her role as Robyn in season three of Stranger Things. But she’s also been in other things such as Mainstream, where she costars with actor Andrew Garfield.

Maya was also in the first hit Netflix trilogy series called Fear Street, but social media turned to chaos when they realized that the Stranger Things star is the offspring of iconic Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke.

So, Maya Hawke, daughter of incredibly well-known actors, is now an actress herself… coincidence much?

Next up, we have Lily-Rose Depp, one of the most known nepotism babies. Many people associate her with a particular coquette/Lana Del Rey/Pinterest aesthetic recently gained popularity.

Lily-Rose, a 23-years old, is well known for her modeling. She is also an actress and got her first start in a role in an A24 film called Tusk in 2024, and since then, she’s been in other movies like the King, Voyagers, and more.

In 2015, she got her start in modeling and later became the face of Chanel. She attended the Chanel’s Métiers d’Art Collection show in New York with her mother and long-time Chanel ambassador, Vanessa Paradis. Then after that, she started making waves in the industry, attracting media attention from Vogue, Refinery29, and Harper’s Bazaar.

But you may wonder how she got get cast in the movie Tusk? And how did she become a model for Chanel so quickly? Well, someone else we know appears in that movie: her father, Johnny Depp. And her mother, Vanessa Chantal Paradis, is a French singer, model, and actress, who was also the face of Chanel in the early ’90s. Notice a pattern?

Photo by Lily-Rose Depp/ Instagram








There is nothing inherently wrong with being a nepo-baby. If I had well-known parents in Hollywood, I would probably use that as an advantage to get ahead too. But it becomes a problem when those who benefit from having parents in the industry never admit their privilege. Or those who act as though their family has no bearing on their career whatsoever.

I begin to wonder: If these nepo babies didn’t have famous or rich parents, would they have the career they do, and if so, would they be as famous? 

Share your feelings and thoughts on how you feel about this in the comments below!

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About the Contributor
Karsen Thompson is a Writing and Publishing senior at Lincoln Park. This is her 5th year attending LP and is the creator of What’s Poppin’ on the Siren! She loves music, fashion, movies, and all things pop culture!

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