If it seems like celebrity children have taken over the entertainment industry, you might not be wrong. Over the past few years, numerous aspiring stars have stepped into the spotlight -- and a lot of them have famous parents. These up-and-coming stars have been labeled “nepotism babies” by the public, as many deem that they’ve had an unfair advantage while trying to make it in Hollywood. And while some of the stars say their famous families have actually only made things harder for them, others acknowledge their privilege.
Maude Apatow’s parents may be actress Leslie Mann and director Judd Apatow but she wants to pave her own way. While she says she was originally upset by the nepotism baby label, she wants to prove she can make it on her own merit.
"At first, I was sad. I try not to let it get to me because I obviously understand that I'm in such a lucky position. A lot of people [in a similar position] have proven themselves over the years, so I've got to keep going and make good work. It's so early in my career, I don't have much to show yet, but hopefully one day I'll be really proud of the stuff I've done by myself,” she told Net-a-Porter.
Hailey Bieber says she’s always wanted to do everything on her own, without her name being a factor in her success. While some may criticize her for getting an advantage from her famous family, she doesn’t let the negative comments of others impact her.
"It shouldn't limit you because what I definitely believe is that nobody in the world, especially anybody that doesn’t know you, should have a negative impact on your path or the decision that you make,” Hailey said.
Hailey's cousin Ireland Baldwin, who is the daughter of Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger, says she fully understands she had things easy because of her parents. In fact, she says she probably wouldn’t be a model if not for them.
“I don’t think I ever would’ve been scouted as a model if it weren’t for who my parents are...You have a lot more to prove because you’re always going to have that comparison to your parents,” Ireland said on “Red Table Talk.”
Lily Rose Depp’s parents, Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis, certainly helped their daughter in the early stages of her career, but she says it hasn’t been easy. After landing her first roles in films featuring her dad, “Tusk” and “Yoga Hosers,” she says she’s had to work even harder to prove she isn’t just the child of a famous person.
"It is obviously a really easy assumption to make to think that I would just have roles landing on my doorstep because of my name, but that’s an idea I’ve always kind of rejected. I’ve always been under the impression that I have to work twice as hard to prove to people that I’m not just here because it’s easy for me. I feel like you’re not what your name is. If you’re not right for something, they’re not just going to hire you because your name looks good on the post,” she told Australian Vogue.
As the daughter of actress Blythe Danner and director Bruce Paltrow, Gwyneth Paltrow says she’s had to work twice as hard as other actors. Despite her parents getting her foot in the door, she says people were constantly ready to tear her down, forcing her to do better.
“As the child of someone, you get access other people don’t have, so the playing field is not level in that way. However, I really do feel that once your foot is in the door, which you unfairly got in, then you almost have to work twice as hard and be twice as good. People are ready to pull you down and say, ‘You don't belong there’ or ‘You are only there because of your dad or your mom,’” she said on Hailey Bieber's YouTube show, “Who's In My Bathroom?”
Elizabeth Olsen has been inherently aware of nepotism her whole life, once explaining that at even as young as 10-years-old she knew she didn’t want to accept something she earned only because of her sisters Mary-Kate and Ashley. As she’s developed her own career, she says she’s always tried to do it on her own merit.
“Nepotism is a thing and I’m very aware of it. And of course, I’ve always wanted to do it alone,” she told Grazia UK.
As the niece of Julia Roberts, Emma Roberts acknowledges that people believe her career is based on nepotism. She disagrees, noting that if it were all about nepotism, she would have landed many more roles throughout her career.
"A lot of people think that, and they talk about nepotism, which I think is so ridiculous considering it's obviously not true; because I've auditioned for so many things and never gotten the part. Also it's like, you know, maybe someone can get you one part, but they can't really get you 10 parts,” Emma once told Popeater.
Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke’s daughter Maya Hawke is aware that her family connections helped her get her foot in the door of the entertainment industry but she knows that if she doesn’t actually have the talent it takes to make it, it will all go away.
"I'm very grateful for the fact that [my parents] made it so easy for me to do the thing that I love. I think I'll get a couple chances on their name and then if I suck, I'll get kicked out of the kingdom. And that's what should happen. So I'm just going to try not to suck,” she told People.
Lourdes Leon may be Madonna’s eldest daughter but she says she’s paved her own way -- despite what other people may assume. In fact, she wanted to be independent from her mom as soon as possible and following her high school graduation, she started paying rent at her own apartment and covered her own college tuition.
“People think I’m this talentless rich kid who’s had everything given to her, but I’m not,” she told Vogue.
10. Natasha Bure
“Fuller House” star Cameron Candice Bure’s daughter Natasha Bure is pursuing a career in acting like her mom but that hasn’t made it any easier for her. Despite appearing in projects alongside her mom, Natasha says that her mom’s star power actually makes it more difficult to land roles at times.
“A lot of people will kind of assume that if I get any job or work at all that it’s from her. Or it’s given to me or it’s handed to me, and it’s honestly quite literally the opposite. I work hard for everything that I do, and I’m out here like everyone else just grinding and trying to follow my dreams and make them come true. So I think that’s one misconception that’s a little bit frustrating to see,” Natasha told “Today.”
Steven Spielberg’s daughter Destry Spielberg faced accusations of nepotism following the release of her short film “Let Me Go (The Right Way)” and while she acknowledges her advantage, she hopes she can use her fortunate position to help other creatives.
"I acknowledge that I was born with privilege! I own that through and through! I make it my mission to bring new talent into the industry [and] give opportunities to artists of all backgrounds. No one should be left out because of the connections they don't have,” Destry tweeted.
12. Maile Masako Brady
Wayne Brady’s daughter Maile Masako Brady is just getting her start in the entertainment industry with a role on “The Bold and the Beautiful” and she’s already received the nepotism baby title. She says she doesn’t mind it though because she knows that it’s true.
“It’s not like it’s wrong? I’m an actress, I’m a singer. I basically do what my dad does, in a way. I’m very fortunate to have grown up around the arts and being given certain advantages. So I’m not going to be like, ‘Don’t make fun of me for the truth, that’s mean!’ It doesn’t make me feel bad -- it’s just funny to me,” Maile told the Washington Post.