‘Nepo babies’ have been getting a lot of attention over the last few months, with the term becoming a staple in social media vernacular, with the hashtag #nepotismbaby garnering millions of views on TikTok as people realise how many celebrities have famous parents.
The term ‘nepotism baby’ or its shortened version “nepo baby” are the children of celebrities who are following in the (well-trodden) footsteps of their parents and pursuing careers in the spotlight.
Anyone even vaguely aware of popular culture will know that famous families and legs-up in Hollywood are nothing new, if anything, they are the building blocks of celebrity; a vast amount of actors, models and musicians ‘make it’ because of the opportunities and privilege they are afforded by being related to people in powerful places.
So many of the creative industry’s household names started as the kids of Hollywood royalty, like George Clooney, the Gyllenhaals, Liza Minelli, Drew Barrymore, Carrie Fisher and Gwyneth Paltrow, and have now surpassed their parents’ fame – to the point it’s generally forgotten that they fall into this category.
But one ‘nepo baby’ has hit out at criticism of the term, claiming many are ‘starved of stability and love’ because of their ‘narcissistic’ parents.
Lily Allen, who is the daughter of actor Keith Allen and film producer Alison Owen, wrote: “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.
“If we’re talking about real world consequences and robbing people of opportunity. BUT that’s none of my business.
“And before you come at me for being a nepo baby myself, I will be the first to tell you that I literally deserve nothing.”
Lily continued to engage in the debate after a Twitter user asked her, “Why are your parents blue links on Wikipedia,?”
In response, the 37-year-old said: “Because I’m a nepo baby, and both my parents are super talented. In childhood we crave stability and love, nurturing, we don’t care about money or proximity to power yet.
“Many of the nepo babies are starved of these basic things in childhood as their parents are probably narcissistic. And entertainment business is not parent friendly eg.. Touring/months away shooting.
“It can be hard to see one’s own privilege when you’re still processing childhood trauma, and a lot of these kids haven’t figured that out yet.”
The singer, whose brother is actor Alfie Allen, has previously shared details on how she’d spend weekends in the hotel room above the Groucho club as a child, with a Toblerone to keep her going.
Think what you will about ‘nepo babies’ but it’s certainly interesting to hear Lily’s own lived experience.