Ever since the term «nepo baby,» which refers to stars whose parents are part of the entertainment industry, first exploded on social media last year, and particularly since Vulture published a cover story in December detailing the countless actors, directors, musicians and more who have benefited from family connections, numerous celebrity spawns have found themselves in the crosshairs of outrage.

Some of these personalities have argued that it is unfair to count a person’s birth against them: O’Shea Jackson Jr. (son of Ice Cube) encouraged the famous progeny to «not let anyone get it into his head that he must feel bad» about his background, while others have lashed out at critics for pointing out his exceptionally privileged backgrounds.

Model lottie moss (Kate’s sister) tweeted that she was «so sick of people blaming nepotism for why they’re not rich and famous» while Jamie Lee Curtis (daughter of Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh) claimed that the nepotism conversation is “simply designed to try to belittle, denigrate and hurt” those who have benefited from it. then there is eva hewsonBono’s daughter, who claimed that the Vulture team behind the «nepo baby» piece was «jealous» and called out the editor-in-chief for their own family privilege.

Tony Curtis, Janet Leigh, with Jamie Lee Curtis in 1991.
Tony Curtis, Janet Leigh, with Jamie Lee Curtis in 1991.Jim Smeal/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

Defensiveness is self-defeating, it just pays more attention to the issue and the resulting criticism for ignorance and screen rights. But a self-described «baby nepo» has finally cracked the code to how to defuse these attacks: owning the title, not shying away from it.

in a interview with wired In late December, actress Allison Williams, the daughter of former NBC News and MSNBC anchor Brian Williams and television producer Jane Gillan Stoddard, acknowledged her highly privileged background without hesitation or question. «There’s no conversation about my career without talking about the ways I’ve been fortunate,» said Williams, 34, adding: «If you trust your own ability, I think it becomes very easy to recognize.»

She noted that early in her career, she was «definitely concerned with making sure people understood that I was a hard worker, as if that would somehow absolve me of privilege.» When she realized that this was not something she could absolve herself of, she simply accepted reality and continued to prove her worth beyond her last name.

So in a Thursday interview with Vulture Williams went on to say: “All people are looking for is an acknowledgment that there is no level playing field. It’s just unfair. Period, end of story, and no one is really working that hard to make it fair. Not recognizing that starting out as an actress as someone with no connections isn’t the same is ridiculous.»

After all, it’s hard to imagine that Judd Apatow would have cast her in HBO’s “Girls,” propelling her to stardom without the help of his industry connections.

And before her «Girls» breakthrough, Williams held summer jobs as a production assistant on the set of «Prairie Home Companion» and as an assistant assistant to Tina Fey. “It doesn’t take away from the work I’ve done,” said the star of the animated horror film “M3GAN,” which opens Friday. «It just means it’s not that much fun rooting for me.»

The problem with those who deny this reality is that it is not just a self-deception, but a harmful distortion for everyone else. Singer ily allen (daughter of actor Keith Allen and producer Alison Owen), who tweeted in response to the Vulture story that she feels Nepo babies actually deserve our sympathy because they didn’t have «stability» and «love» in infancy «due to to its alleged parental narcissism — said the biggest threat of nepotism comes from law firms, banks and politics «if we’re talking about real-world consequences and stealing opportunities from people.»

Of course, there is also nepotism present in those fields. But to overlook the consequences it has in an industry as influential as Hollywood, in particular, that is, to exclude countless talented newcomers who might be more talented than a «nepo baby» but lack a famous name or face, and, therefore, they are denied opportunities. A big mistake

That damage is compounded when negated, because it becomes even more difficult to eradicate. However, that is what is hidden behind the comments made by Kate Hudson (daughter of Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell) dismissing the subject entirely. “I don’t care where you come from or what your relationship is with the business; if you work hard and kill it, it doesn’t matter.» Hudson told The Independent. Your sentiment may be well-intentioned, but it’s not true; in Hollywood (as in many other industries), where you come from matters enormously.

Kate Hudson with her parents Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn at a ceremony honoring Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
Kate Hudson with her parents at a ceremony honoring Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2017.Michael Tran/FilmMagic

An aspiring actor with one famous father, or in Hudson’s case, two, often has automatic access to agents, auditions, and career advice, and their connections open doors for them that remain stubbornly closed to millions of others. And while, yes, those add-ons don’t necessarily guarantee a long and successful career, it’s a lot easier to convince a studio to pick you in the first place when you have a recognizable face or name, or even just a spot in the room.

Stars who have profited from nepotism need not be ashamed of it or view the word as an insult meant to detract from their success. Many «nepo babies» have used their family connections to launch impressive and highly acclaimed careers, from Curtis to laura dern a Tracee Ellis Ross. Over the years, his work has become far more notable than their names, allowing audiences to discover their individual talents without forgetting the privileged ways in which they began. No one disputes that these stars, or most other «nepo babies,» haven’t earned their acclaim. But it’s impossible to deal with their successful careers without also noting how much of a head start they had when they first entered Hollywood.

More «nepo babies» could take a page from Williams’s book and recognize this duality. Anyone who comes from a privileged background is denied advantages to others, and by insinuating otherwise or defending themselves, many famous kids make themselves appear stingy at best, and ignorant and elitist at worst. Hollywood is not a level playing field, and any «nepo baby» who pretends to be is not only ignoring reality, but doing her own reputation a disservice.