This morning, it feels like the entire internet is talking about nepo babies —short for nepotism babies — thanks to a brilliantly thorough new cover story from New York Magazine, entitled “How A Nepo Baby Is Born.” In forensic detail, the piece weaves a complicated web of emerging celebrities and their famous, well-connected parents, exploring exactly how parents with industry clout can help to give aspiring offspring a massive leg up.
So far, most nepo babies have kept incredibly quiet, but yesterday Lily Allen weighed in on the topic in a series of tweets. The musician’s parents are actor Keith Allen and film producer Alison Owen; as well as being a well-known face on UK telly, her dad once opened for punk icons The Clash, and used to play in a band called Fat Les with the artist Damien Hirst, and Blur’s Alex James.
“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,” she tweeted. “BUT that’s none of my business.”
“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,” she added.
Elsewhere, Allen elaborated as she responded to a comment from @adoredetails, who said that a lot of nepo babies are not self aware enough to admit that they benefit from privilege. In response, Allen argued that the children of famous children “are starved of…basic things in childhood.”
“In childhood we crave stability and love, nurturing,” she said, “we don’t care about money or proximity to power yet. Many of the nepo babies are starved of these basic things in childhood as their parents are probably narcissistic, and entertainment business is not parent friendly eg.. Touring/ months away shooting. 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.”
When another user asked Allen why both of her parents are “blue links on Wikipedia” – and each have their own dedicated pages on the site – she replied, “because I’m a nepo baby, and both my parents are super talented.”
Allen has previously spoken candidly about her upbringing, telling The Guardian that “neither of my parents was particularly good at parenting” in 2018. In her memoir My Thoughts Exactly, she also protests that her parents’ careers had nothing to do with her own music industry success. “That’s what got to me: this assumption I had it easy, that I just snuck in the door,” she said.