18 Nepo Babies Who Either Acknowledged Or Denied Their Privilege, And 14 Who Just Stayed Quiet

    Early in his acting career, John David Washington "saw how people changed" when they discovered he was Denzel Washington's son, so he'd lie, "saying [his dad] was a construction worker or in jail, just to have some sense of normalcy."

    As the "nepo baby" debate rages on, more and more celebs with famous parents (or other family members) have shared their thoughts on the subject. Others acknowledged or denied the privilege of nepotism months or years before it became a hot-button issue online.

    However, there are also plenty of nepo babies who've decided that the best course of action is to not say anything at all.

    Here are 18 nepo babies who've spoken out about being a nepo baby:

    1. Bryce Dallas Howard, who began acting in movies her dad, Ron Howard, directed, told Daily Beast, "It is an amazing privilege to be a child of someone who works in an industry that you are interested in and eventually work in...But there was no greater privilege than the fact that my dad was supportive of me, empowered me, and showed me respect, real respect, from day one."

    Bryce and her father at an event

    She continued, "Sometimes insecurities can creep up, or you'll hear somebody say, like, 'Oh, she only got that because of X, Y, or Z.'  But that's very small. That's a very, very, very tiny, tiny, tiny downside in comparison to all the encouragement and support and inevitable opportunities that are very, very real. So it certainly is not lost on me that it is a best-case scenario."

    2. As the younger sister of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Elizabeth Olsen has been aware of nepotism from a young age. She told Glamour, "I was 10 and I was curious about auditioning…But during that time, I thought, 'I don't want to be associated with [Mary-Kate and Ashley],' for some reason. I guess I understood what nepotism was like inherently as a 10-year-old."

    closeup of the twins with elizabeth

    "I don't know if I knew the word, but there is some sort of association of not earning something that I think bothered me at a very young age. It had to do with my own insecurities, but I was 10. So I don't know how much I processed, but I did think, 'I'm going to be Elizabeth Chase [her middle name] when I become an actress," she said.

    3. Rashida Jones, the daughter of record producer Quincy Jones and actor Peggy Lipton, told NBC, "Listen, I went to college, I had a great upbringing, I'm privileged, I wanted for nothing my entire life, but I definitely did not get career handouts. It took fifteen years to build a career which is what it should take."

    roshida with her parents

    She also said, "Because my parents are in entertainment, people were like, 'Well, obviously, people are just giving her jobs. She's using her connections.' It's followed me since the beginning."

    4. Bringing up the term "nepo babies" to GQ, Zoë Kravitz, whose parents are Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet, said, "It's completely normal for people to be in the family business. It's literally where last names came from. You were a blacksmith if your family was, like, the Black family."

    zoe with her parents at an event

    She also said that she's had a "deep insecurity" about being in entertainment and being less deserving of her fame since her teenage years because she has famous parents.

    5. The 1975's Matty Healy, whose parents are actors Denise Welch and Tim Healy, played his first gig at the 2001 Tim Healy Charity Golf Classic. He told Apple Music's Zane Lowe, "I made a joke that I drew the short straw at the nepotism baby nursery because there's so many famous kids out there. The nepotism baby concept is interesting though, isn't it? Because it seems to be something that people talk about when they're a little bit jealous."

    He continued, "People grow up in cultures. Right? I grew up around artists. So when I was a kid I was, like, 'What does he do for job?' He makes art. 'What does he do?' He's an actor. Right, okay? You just subconsciously take it in. If you grow up in a family of doctors, there's not many nepotism doctors. Right? A lot of the time, if your dad's a doctor, you're a doctor because you grow up in the culture. You know what I mean? So it's like that happens across the board. I grew up in art, so I made art. It is not that complicated."

    6. At the Kering Women in Motion series, Riley Keough said that being the granddaughter of Elvis Presley "helps you in so many ways, it helps you have more resources." However, she also said that, because she's a director and actor rather than a musician, "there's a level of separation, there's also a generation of separation."

    She also said that nepotism didn't provide any privileges when it came to financing her directorial debut, War Pony, because of an industry-wide problem of men with money treating women directors like too big of a risk.

    She said, "What does that mean for somebody who isn't an actress and who hasn't the relationships I have? I see it all the time with female filmmakers, even those I've worked with."

    7. Patrick Schwarzenegger, the son of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver, told NME, "I'm not trying to follow in my dad's footsteps. He has offered me roles in his movies, but I'm not interested in accepting stuff in his big action movies or not earning my way up."

    closeup of arnold and patrick

    "I’d much rather start small and do cool indie projects or get out to theaters," he added.

    8. Christian Combs, whose dad is fellow artist, Diddy, told TMZ, "Me and my pops both on the charts at the same time. Shout out all the fans, all the DJs playin' it. We goin' up...Yeah you know it's earned not given."

    the two on stage

    He continued, "You know we gonna prove it, proof is in the pudding."

    9. Leni Klum is aware that being the daughter of supermodel Heidi Klum gave her a "lift" in the modeling industry. She told People, "I did get help starting off, and I know that people would dream to start off with what I had. I'm so grateful that I've been able to take what was gifted to me by my mom. But I am doing the work and putting in the time."

    Leni and Heidi

    "Now I'm working on my own, traveling alone, going to school. My mom and I just have the same love for the same thing," she said.

    10. Rumer Willis, the daughter of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore, told the Tribune-Star, "In the end, if you're talented you'll get work, if you're not, you won't, so it doesn't really matter who you know."

    Rumor with her parents at an event

    She also said, "Everyone has opportunities and different doors that are opened to them in different ways."

    11. Chris Pine, the son of actors Robert Pine and Gwynne Gilford, and the grandson of actor Anne Gwynne, credits the production assistants gigs that got him started in Hollywood to "just regular old nepotism." He also "[doesn't] even feel like [he] picked" acting as a career.

    Chris with his parents

    He told the Toronto Star, "I just started doing plays in college. And then I went to LA. Then I got an agent. It just sort of rolled like a very slow snowball into what I'm doing now. It’s very weird."

    12. Early in his acting career, John David Washington "saw how people changed" when they discovered he was Denzel Washington's son, so he'd lie, "saying [his dad] was a construction worker or in jail, just to have some sense of normalcy."

    John and Denzel

    He told Mr Porter, "I felt like there was no way people would take me seriously, even if I was good. They would always judge me. So I hid who my father was. I guess I was protecting myself."

    13. On Red Table Talk, Ireland Baldwin, the daughter of Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger, said, "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."

    She continued, "Nothing makes me want to want to peel my fingernails off more than doing a Basinger Baldwin spread in a magazine and then facing the criticism and the comparisons."

    14. Gigi Hadid, the daughter of model Yolanda Hadid and wealthy real estate developer Mohamed Hadid, told Vogue Australia, "I know I come from privilege, so when I started there was this big guilt of privilege, obviously. I've always had this big work ethic, because my parents came from nothing and I worked hard to honor them."

    gigi with her parents at an event

    She continued, "There are so many [other models] who come [from] all over the world and work their arses off and send money home to their families like my mother did, and I wanted to stand next to them backstage and for them to look at me and respect me and to know that it's never about me trying to overshadow or take their place. So when I started out, I wanted to prove myself so badly that sometimes I would overwork myself."

    15. On Twitter, a fan asked Valter Skarsgård, the son of Stellan Skarsgård, if he benefitted from nepotism. He replied, "No, I don’t really. That’s not how it works."

    "Yes, I audition for most of my projects, and if I don't, it's because the director has seen one of my other projects," he said.

    16. Meanwhile, Valter's older brother, Bill Skarsgård, "always felt a very strong need" to become a successful actor on his own. He told People, "The association with my brothers and my father is already so big, I didn't want them to have anything to do with what I did."

    gustaf, bill, and alexander on at an event

    "I needed them to feel that I am completely responsible for what I do," he said.

    17. Lily Collins, the daughter of musician Phil Collins, told Vogue France, "It was out of the question that people would think that I use a free pass thanks to my name. I'm proud of my dad, but I wanted to be me, not just his daughter. For that, I was ready to wait to break through."

    lily and her dad

    "I love to sing. But as I wanted to make my own way, far from the paternal genius, I preferred to be an actress. I played in a few musicals because it's the only setting in which I allow myself to sing. Frankly, I would be too afraid of comparisons!" she said.

    18. And finally, on Instagram, Jamie Lee Curtis, whose parents are actors Janet Leigh and Tony Curtis, said, "There's not a day in my professional life that goes by without my being reminded that I am the daughter of movie stars. The current conversation about nepo babies is just designed to try to diminish and denigrate and hurt.”

    jamie with her parents

    She continued, "For the record, I have navigated 44 years with the advantages my associated and reflected fame brought me — I don't pretend there aren't any — that try to tell me that I have no value on my own. It's curious how we immediately make assumptions and snide remarks that someone related to someone else who is famous in their field for their art, would somehow have no talent whatsoever. I have come to learn that is simply not true... I am not alone. There are many of us. Dedicated to our craft. Proud of our lineage. Strong in our belief in our right to exist."

    And now, here are 14 nepo babies who've stayed quiet:

    19. Kaia Gerber, who's a model like her parents Cindy Crawford and Rande Gerber, faced backlash when she appeared on Vogue's "The Models Who Make the Moment" cover alongside fellow nepotism models, Lourdes Leon and Bella Hadid.

    Kaia with her parents

    20. Presley Gerber, Kaia's older brother, has also refrained from speaking on the subject of nepotism.

    closeup of the family at an event

    21. Lori Harvey, the daughter of Steve Harvey, steers away from speaking on many topics publicly. She told Essence, "Because I’ve been so quiet this whole time, the Internet has created narratives for me."

    22. When Ben Platt was cast in the lead of the Dear Evan Hansen movie adaptation, he was criticized for two things — being too old for the role of a high schooler and being the son of producer Mark Platt.

    closeup of mark and ben

    23. Finding out Margaret Qualley is the daughter of her Maids costar, Andie MacDowell, "frustrated" some viewers.

    closeup of the two at an event

    24. Zoey Deutch, the daughter of actor Lea Thompson and director Howard Deutch, hasn't said anything about nepotism (so far), but she has been heralded as a nepo baby who "deserves" her success.

    closeup of zoey with her parents

    25. A viral tweet said that Bella Hadid, the daughter of Yolanda and Mohamed Hadid, is "legitimized" as a model because she hustles on lots of runways every fashion week and does small editorials as well as major covers.

    bella with her parents

    26. At 16, Anwar Hadid signed with the same modeling agency as his older sisters, Bella and Gigi. Unlike Gigi, neither of the younger Hadids have publicly spoken about benefitting from nepotism.

    the three siblings on the red carpet

    27. Liv Freundlich spent two weeks working as a production assistant on a movie her mom, Julianne Moore, acted in.

    liv and her mom

    28. Mathilda Gianopoulos made her onscreen debut with a cameo in Jem and the Holograms, in which her mom, Molly Ringwald, had a key role in.

    the mom and daughter on the red carpet

    29. In 2012, Cori Broadus released her debut single, "Daddy's Girl," which featured her dad, Snoop Dogg.

    cori and snoop on the red carpet

    30. Alexander Skarsgård is the oldest son of fellow actor, Stellan Skarsgård. Half of Stellan's eight kids are actors.

    alexander and stellan

    31. Deacon Phillippe, the son of actors Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe, made his onscreen debut in Never Have I Ever, which was created by his mom's friend and collaborator, Mindy Kaling.

    32. And finally, when Jennifer Aniston told Variety's Actors on Actors series that people who are "famous for basically doing nothing" are "diluting the actor's job," many critics pointed out that she was born to famous parents, actors John Aniston and Nancy Dow.