Musician and actor Lily Allen has defended “nepo babies” – a term for children of famous parents – and accused the entertainment industry of causing “childhood trauma” due to its unfriendliness towards working parents.
“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,” Allen tweeted. “BUT that’s none of my business.”
In response to her own tweet she added: “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.”
Despite the disclaimer, her tweets on the subject prompted many to point out that Allen, whose parents are “Trainspotting” actor Keith Allen and film producer Alison Owen, has benefited from her industry connections.
Allen has appeared in two of her mother’s films, “Elizabeth,” starring Cate Blanchett, in which she played a lady-in-waiting, and more recently “How to Build a Girl.” According to IMDb, her first on-screen appearances as a child were background roles in projects that starred her father, including TV show “The Comic Strip Presents…”
Allen’s brother Alfie, also an actor who has worked alongside his family, played Theon Greyjoy in “Game of Thrones.”
In response to one Twitter user who asked “Why are your parents blue links on Wikipedia[?]” Allen replied: “Because I’m a nepo baby, and both my parents are super talented.”
But Allen, who shot to fame with her music in the mid-2000s before pivoting to acting, went on to imply that life isn’t always perfect for the offspring of entertainment industry figures given the industry is “not parent friendly.” “In childhood we crave stability and love, nurturing,” she tweeted. “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.”
“[A]nd 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.”
The peripatetic and long-hours culture of the entertainment industry has long been a contentious issue for those with caring responsibilities, both above and below the line. Last year a “Keeping Families in Film” campaign was launched by “Peaky Blinders” star Charlotte Riley, who is also responsible for setting up the U.K.’s first dedicated on-site childcare facility at Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden.
The campaign was supported by stars including Keira Knightley, Cillian Murphy and Jodie Whittaker
Allen, who has two young children, is set to lead her first television series next year alongside Freema Agyeman in Sharon Horgan’s upcoming U.K. comedy-drama “Dreamland.”