Nate Jones on the phenomenon of the “nepo baby” – the children of Hollywood stars who fill the current ranks of celebrities:

“Long before TikTok got ahold of these descendants, scholars had been studying our obsession with multigenerational stars. Austrian academic Eva Maria Schörgenhuber argues that celebrity children function as living links to a shared pop-culture history, connecting us to a nostalgic vision of the past. You can see this keenly in the types of nepo babies the culture does not have a problem with. Stars like Minnelli, Mariska Hargitay, or Freddie Prinze Jr., who all had a parent die in tragic circumstances, garner respect, not scorn, for following in their footsteps. The same way the Kennedys went from nouveau-riche boot-leggers to inhabitants of a fairy-tale castle, so does the passage of time transform a nepo baby into someone ‘from a famous family.’ Few today care that Michael Douglas, Laura Dern, or Tracee Ellis Ross had celebrity parents. The same principle holds true for someone like Dakota Johnson, who reps multiple generations of Hollywood legends and is thus exempt from the tasteless striving that defines celebrity children of a more recent vintage. Paradoxically, the nepo babies we like best are often the ones who are most privileged.”