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Hey, guys. It's Chelsea from The Financial Diet. This week's video is sponsored by SmartCredit. So as many of you might know, I actually started TFD all those years ago as a way to hold myself accountable to my own personal financial journey because I'd gotten myself in so much trouble, largely because of racking up credit card debt.

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And today we are going to talk about one of my favorite-- and by favorite, I mean least favorite-- phenomena, which is nepo babies. Now, if you're someone who is on social media-- and honestly, if you're one of those really healthy people that doesn't use social media at all, get off my channel-- you've probably been hearing a lot about the nepo baby phenomenon, which is basically just the children of already famous and/or rich and famous people themselves becoming famous. (SARCASTICALLY) But it's not because their dad's the president of Paramount. That just got their foot in the door.

The rest was hard work. Now, I should be clear. The idea of a nepotism baby, especially in places like Hollywood, is absolutely nothing new.

I mean, listen, no one is more beloved to me than our gut health princess Jamie Lee Curtis. A Fish Called Wanda is one of my all-time favorite movies. But she is an all-time nepo baby too.

Her parents are literally Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh. Or what about Liza Minnelli, who we're constantly being reminded these days has outlived various things via the LizaMinnelliOutlives Twitter account. Her mom was literally Judy Garland, and her dad was also a famous director.

So yes, it's not a new phenomenon and, as we see with Jamie and Liza, sometimes produces greatness. But it does often feel like the nepo baby phenomenon is reaching a bit of a critical mass, and I'm going to explain a little bit about why I think that is. Although we have seen a little bit of a cresting in the wave lately with some nepo babies really reaching the upper ceilings of what their famous and/or connected parents can do for them.

For example, in just the musical theater genre, we've had two pretty high profile travesties. On one hand, the talented but just simply doesn't have the range Beanie Feldstein playing Fanny Brice in Funny Girl to devastatingly bad reviews and having to drop out of the show early to stop the critical bleeding, while Ben Platt in the Dear Evan Hansen movie was looking like the main characters from PEN15, except not as a joke, just straight up being middle aged around a bunch of actual teenagers. Beanie's brother is actually Jonah Hill, which it would be beyond naive to think did not play a huge part in them landing-- and in Ben's case, keeping well past his expiration date as a believable high schooler-- these massive roles.

And in both cases, it did end up being a bit of an embarrassment for them but it is only the tiniest dent in the massive wave of nepo babies taking over our screens and zines. Let's look at this lineup. I've never watched a sports draft before, but pretend this is some sort of a sports draft situation.

We have Timothée Chalamet, a.k.a. Little Lord Cigarette, who has an actress mother and a filmmaker grandfather. We have Maude Apatow, who is Judd Apatow's daughter and who's been being shoved down our throats in his movies since she was basically old enough to talk.

We have Zoey Deutch, daughter of actress Lea Thompson and director Howard Deutch. We have Maya Hawke, daughter of Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman, who is herself the daughter of a famous fashion model. We have all of Meryl Streep's actor children, at least one of whom changed her name to be less recognizable as a Gummer.

That's Louisa Jacobson, who I have to say this tweet about Meryl Streep having to watch The Gilded Age every week and pretend that her daughter did a good job really sums that up. Then we have Sam Levinson, who is the creator of Euphoria, a show that is famous for employing many a nepo baby, and who is himself the son of famous filmmaker Harry Levinson. We have Margaret Qualley, who is Andie MacDowell's daughter.

And honestly, she did turn in a star-making performance in Maid, but we have to call you out for being objectively Andie MacDowell's daughter. We have Dakota Johnson. That's not the truth, Ellen.

But you know it is the truth? The fact that both of her parents are A-list celebrities. We have Lily Rose Depp, who is both a nepo baby here and en France and really turning out just [BLEEP] performances on both sides of the Atlantic-- our bilingual queen of mediocrity.

We have Jack Quaid. If that name sounds familiar, it's probably because of Randy Quaid, to whom he is related. We have Dan Levy, who played opposite his own father in Schitt's Creek, Levy of Eugene Levy fame-- might have heard of him or seen his eyebrows.

We have Lily Collins, our all-time queen of, is it fashion or is she just skinny, who might not be turning in such bottom-tier looks week after week on Emily in Paris if her dad wasn't Phil Collins. Lastly, we have Sofia Coppola, who is literally in The Godfather as an infant and, honestly, I can't deny is a talented director. But would we have another more talented director if she weren't literally a Coppola?

You know who else is a Coppola? Nick Cage. Don't let Cage fool you.

His last name is actually Coppola. But it doesn't matter. He could kill someone, and he'd still be the guy who starred opposite Cher in Moonstruck in a love story where he was 23 and she was 41 at the time of filming, and the age gap is never addressed.

King [BLEEP]. But what's interesting about this influx of nepo babies is how much it reinforces one of our biggest misconceptions about Hollywood, which is our constant conflation with being famous and being rich. We often assume that basically every celebrity is rich and are absolutely shocked when stories come out about them being bankrupt or having all their money stolen or not having the ability to even make rent, even though that's fairly common.

The truth is that many of the famous people in Hollywood were already rich from birth. And we're just now talking about the celebrities whose parents were also celebrities. That doesn't even count all the celebrities whose parents were extremely wealthy or whose names are blue on Wikipedia for other reasons.

I'm looking at you Cara Delevingne. You have great eyebrows, but I'm watching you in Only Murders in the Building right now. And I'm sorry, like, there is no way you would be an actress in any kind of just universe.

Now, actress Sydney Sweeney, one of the few non-nepo babies on Euphoria, came under a bit of criticism recently when she revealed in an interview that she would not be able to take a six-month break off of work because she wouldn't be able to afford it. Now, many people did rightfully point out that, like, duh, bitch, welcome to the rest of the world, but it is rather interesting to note that despite being one of the highest profile young actresses of her generation right now, she doesn't even have enough money to cover a six-month pause to have children for which she would have no maternity leave. But our recent TFC guest and all around awesome person Kelsey McKinney did a really interesting and thoughtful essay about not just Sydney Sweeney's particular situation but the phenomenon in Hollywood and increasingly many industries where not already being rich almost precludes you from being able to work.

As Kelsey writes, "They don't pay actors like they used to, and with streamers, you no longer get residuals,' Sweeney told 'The Hollywood Reporter.' So she cannot do what Jennifer Aniston did a generation ago-- be on a network television hit that gets replayed and replayed so frequently for so long that her life would unfold like a 300-thread-count sheet before her. Sweeney could have an entire career of choosing only hits, of never taking a break, and of still not reaching the kind of money the generation before her made more or less passively once their work was done. That passive income, which is the real American dream, is no longer something that the actual artists-- not just actors but writers and directors and everyone else who ever made a dime off of residuals-- involved in the entertainment business gets to enjoy.

And the same situation is happening in media too. Writers are paid less now than they were 50 years ago for the same work. Ernest Hemingway was paid $1 a word in 1936, which is more than $21 per word in today's dollars.

The maximum that Kelsey was ever paid to write for a glossy magazine in print was $2 a word in 2021. No one-- and I really mean no one--" she writes," in media makes $21 a word. That compensation just doesn't exist.

You could be the most popular novelist in the world and not make $21 a word to report. You could argue that no writer today is as good or as popular as Hemingway was at his peak, but no writer today is even making half or a quarter of what he made, and writers only ever get so famous. If paid what Hemingway was paid at his time, that writer would be able to pay their rent and health insurance premiums and tuck some money away in savings off one standard-issue story per month, but again, that lucky writer does not exist." Now, Kelsey is obviously focusing on media as an industry in this article.

But it's important to note that this is becoming more and more ubiquitous. As we frequently mention in TFD videos, wages have been declining or remaining stagnant for decades now. And the rise in things like unpaid internships has made it all but impossible to get a job without at least at some point doing underpaid or totally unpaid work.

And this depression of wages is not just limited to glamorous industries. This is a vicious cycle that we are economically seeing across the board in nearly every industry. As wages go down, it is more and more necessary that people starting in industries have other ways of supporting themselves to remain competitive, often in the form of rich parents.

And having people who don't need to be paid for their work or at least don't need to be paid competitively allows capitalists to make more money and wages to remain depressed. So the nepotism thing isn't just beneficial to the people who happen to land these jobs through perhaps no real skill of their own. It's also beneficial to the people who then don't really have to worry about paying them competitively.

That said, what's important to note is that those initial savings do still end up costing in the back end as we do have enough data now to show that hiring based on nepotistic choices actually does have negative impacts. "Studies show that nepotism has resulted in bias in decision making, unfair treatment, and losses to companies' performance in the long term. And recent studies also prove that nepotism makes people feel demotivated, lacking in confidence, and alienated. It also hinders competition and innovation.

But nepotism starts early. It begins with parents' favoritism towards their children. And this kind of favoritism is embedded in the children's unconscious mind and will influence their future behavior.

A study from Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business and research firm Penn Schoen Berland showed the high prevalence of favoritism in workplaces. In interviews with 303 senior executives, researchers found that 84% confirmed that favoritism existed in their organization. And this is hardly just happening in the entertainment industry-- because by age 30, 22% of American sons end up working for the same company at the same time as their fathers." What in the 1960s hell?

That doesn't even seem possible, but I guess-- listen, anything's possible. Now, honestly, as I said at the top of this video, nepotism is a thing that has been happening for basically ever. And I guess we're in a slightly better position in America because we no longer have actual hereditary aristocracy.

But it becomes particularly galling when all of a sudden nepo babies have a vomitous tendency to downplay the extent to which having literally rich and famous parents help them also become rich and famous. And I'm sorry, I got to turn it back to you again, Louisa Jacobson. You cannot tell me in a million years that that chick would be on The Gilded Age if it weren't for her mom being Meryl Streep-- literally getting out-acted by extras, by props.

I think I saw a boom light come into a shot at one point, and it did way better work than she was doing. Get her off my screens. Anyway.

Dan Levy, for just another example, has often downplayed the role his famous dad played in the success of his entertainment career despite them literally starring on the same hit show together. As he put it, quote, "I've never really turned to my dad for anything, I think out of fear of the label of nepotism," the 34-year-old actor told Page Six. "Entertainment seems to be the only arena where children who pursue the work of their parents, which is an inherently natural thing to do, is met with a lot of skepticism. And so for my whole life leading up to Schitt's Creek, I've always tried to do everything on my own, I guess to prove, mainly to myself, that I could do it." Honestly, I don't even begrudge Dan Levy making his money and getting to co-star with his dad on a hit TV show playing his actual son.

But, like, why insult everyone's intelligence by pretending that the fact that Eugene Levy is your dad has nothing to do with this. (WHINING) Why can't they just be rich and leave us in peace? Why do they have to do this? I want to like you, Dan Levy, but you're making it very hard.

Anyway, the biggest takeaway I want to make from this video is just realizing the extent to which nepotism isn't just about people who can't hit the notes getting to play Fanny Brice on Broadway. Yes, that's part of it. And actually, one of our coworkers who went to go see it because someone got her two tickets as a gift compared Beanie's performance as when you go to a baseball game and there's a middle schooler who's pretty good at singing who sings the national anthem, and you're just like, ooh, like, this seems a little ambitious for them.

But OK. And I just feel bad for all of those actual amazing belters who came into that audition, and it was like, don't even waste your time, girl. We got the producer's daughter in here.

Signed, sealed, delivered. Anyway. There probably wasn't even an audition to begin with.

And now it's Lea Michele. Look what you did, everyone. Now Lea Michele, noted problematic person who can't read, playing Fanny-- [LAUGHS] playing Fanny Brice.

And then Jameela Jamil had to come in and be like, how dare you guys say she can't read. What is she doing? Someone get her a publicist.

Why does she have to wade into every issue to be on the wrong side of history? Anyway, Is Jameela Jamil a nepo baby? That's what I was going to say.

Let's-- we're googling it in real time. Who are Jameela Jamil's parents? OK, so we don't know who Jameela Jamil's parents are, but she did grow up in a very, very wealthy area of London.

So I'm going to go not famous actor dad but maybe, like, banker dad, which is like-- it's just a different flavor of nepo baby in my opinion. Like Taylor Swift-- who's always given me Veruca Salt vibes, I got to be honest, except instead of whatever factory has bought his daughter a horse farm. Anyway, all of this is to say, nepotism isn't just bad when we have to watch someone who can't really sing playing Fanny Brice or a 55-year-old playing a high schooler.

I know Ben Platt's not 55, but he looked 55 in that movie by comparison. It's also when we allow our economy to continually offer depressed wages across so many industries because the entry levels are filled with people who don't actually need to make a living wage. That's why we should be against nepo babies.

That's why we should make a stink about this. That's why we shouldn't just accept it. Again, exception being made for Jamie Lee Curtis.

Continue to get that sponcon coin from that yogurt that keeps you regular. As always, guys, [LAUGHS] thank you for watching. And don't forget to hit the Subscribe button and to come back every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday for new and awesome videos.