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‘Nepo Babies Have Feelings’: Lily Allen Says the Real Villains Are in Politics, Not Hollywood

lily allen nepo babies

Imagine the Spidermen pointing at each other meme except, instead of Spidermen, it’s different industry subsets of nepotism babies. The discourse around famous people with famous parents, distant relatives, or not-so-distant family friends has become the center of conversation in Hollywood as of late, and now the nepo babies themselves are coming to their own defenses. In a recent series of tweets, Lily Allen made the case that the real nepotism-wielding villains aren’t in Hollywood, they’re in Washington D.C., and on Wall Street.

“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,” Allen, daughter of actor Keith Allen and film producer Alison Owen, wrote. “BUT that’s none of my business.”

The singer and songwriter went on to clarify that her intent wasn’t to suggest that art forms like film and music are devoid of external influence and consequences, but that access to being able to earn a sustainable living in those fields is almost directly restricted by lawmakers and money handlers.

“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,” Allen continued. “People wouldn’t have to choose financial security if the industries i listed above didn’t rig the system against them. That was kind of my point. A fairer society would create more opportunity.”

The acknowledgment of privilege is a step in the right direction, in comparison, for example, to her fellow nepo babies. In November, Willow Smith told Rolling Stone: “I don’t focus on how other people feel about me.” Around the same time, Lily-Rose Depp told Elle that the label is more often than not prescribed to women, adding: “It’s weird to me to reduce somebody to the idea that they’re only there because it’s a generational thing.”

Plus, Allen says, it isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. “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,” she wrote, describing the grueling tour and film schedules render the entertainment industry as “not parent friendly.”

“In childhood we crave stability and love, nurturing, we don’t care about money or proximity to power yet,” she said. “Many of the nepo babies are starved of these basic things in childhood as their parents are probably narcissistic.”

In a separate thread, the singer hoped to clarify some of the points that sparked pushback on Twitter, like the reminder that highlighting the privilege of nepotism in one industry doesn’t diminish the importance of speaking about it in another. For Allen, it’s still a conversation she’s learning to have after defaulting to the defensive earlier in her career, reluctant to share credit for her success with family members she had less than strong relationships with.

“We all know it’s more complicated than that. It is quite clear that there is a severe lack of representation in the industry where class and race are concerned. Everyone loses as a result,” Allen added. “I do feel that nepo babies are being somewhat scapegoated here though, there is a wider, societal conversation to be had about wealth inequality, about lack of programs and funding, and I guess that was the point I was trying to make, maybe badly.”

Concluding the thread, she wrote: “I promise you I’m not rooting for an industry full of people that had childhoods that looked like mine. I just really think that we can’t get to a real solution without identifying the real problem, as fun as it is to laugh at the kids of famous people. Nepo babies have feelings.”

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