Nepotism in Hollywood

The effects of celebrities with famous relatives


Photo courtesy

The Hollywood sign shines above Los Angeles.

Caroline Colbath, Viking Voices Co-Editor

In the age of social media and reality television, the only thing one needs to become famous is a last name. Nepotism has always existed in Hollywood, but now it is becoming more apparent. Nepotism is a form of favoritism in various fields, such as sports, music, business and film. 

Famous families like the Kardashians are filled with celebrities. The Kardashian family is best known for their reality TV show, Keeping Up with The Kardashians. Their fame started with the patriarch Robert Kardashian’s involvement with the OJ Simpson murder case and has since spiraled out of control. 

Frequent viewer of Keeping up With the Kardashians, Claire Mahaffey (10) believes that the Kardashian-Jenner family profits from nepotism. 

The Kardashian daughters wouldn’t have nearly as much fame as they have now if it weren’t for the drama circling a case handled by their late father, Robert Kardashian. Their fame grew when the Kim drama started, furthering their empire of fame and making them more relevant in the culture of that time. Small accomplishments made by the Kardashian-Jenners are blown out of proportion due to their past publicity keeping them in the spotlight,” Mahaffey said. 

While the Kardashians are known for their family, stars like Gwyneth Paltrow and Drew Barrymore also have famous relatives. Paltrow was born to an actress mother and a film producer father. Her brother later became a director and screen writer. Coming from a long line of famous actors and directors, it is no surprise that Drew Barrymore is also a well-known actress. She has grown up in Hollywood and has starred in many popular films such as The Wedding Singer, 50 First Dates and Never Been Kissed.  

Gareth Powell (11) enjoys watching movies and reality TV shows. Powell believes that while some celebrities have profited from nepotism, others have earned their status. 

Gwyneth Paltrow and Drew Barrymore had a boost in their careers due to family connections while stars like Kiera Knightly have worked hard and gotten what they have from themselves, not the help of a famous relative or friend,” Powell said. 

Hollywood is known for its celebrities and movies – and with the right name and connections, one could become a star easily. Miley Cyrus rocketed into stardom after she starred in Hannah Montana with her father being a side character. Her godmother is the well-known country singer Dolly Parton. Cyrus has since become a famous singer in her own right, with multiple hit albums. 

Anne Hamilton Karn (10) watched Hannah Montana as a kid and is currently watching Keeping Up with the Kardashians 

“I believe that nepotism exists in Hollywood and famous families like the Kardashians have benefited from it. Miley Cyrus is a good singer so she would still have recognition, but the show Hannah Montana gave her a boost in her career, so I don’t know whether or not she has only profited because of nepotism,” Karn said. 

Nepotism has existed in Hollywood but is now coming to light as famous families are emerging from the dust.  It is easier now more than ever to get a job with a famous relative or two.