Emma Roberts is weighing in on the “nepo babies” debate.

During an interview on the Table for Two with Bruce Bozzi podcast by iHeartMedia, Roberts reflected on how there are “two sides of the coin” when it comes to the nepo babies discourse and many are bound to “have preconceived notions of you.” Roberts is the niece of actress Julia Roberts and daughter of actor Eric Roberts.

“People like to say, ‘Oh, you know, you have a leg up because you’re a family in the industry.’ But then the other side to that is, you know, you have to prove yourself more. Also, if people don’t have good experience being to be with other people in your family, then you’ll never get a chance,” she said.

Roberts explains that because “everybody loves the kind of overnight success story” if “you’re not the girl from the middle of nowhere that broke into Hollywood” there’s “an eye roll of like, ‘Well, your dad was this.’”

“I always joke I’m like, ‘Why is no one calling out George Clooney for being a nepo baby?’ [His aunt] Rosemary Clooney was an icon. Young girls, I feel like, get it harder with the nepo baby thing. I don’t really see people calling out you know, sons of famous actors. Not that they should be called that. I don’t think anyone should be called out wanting to follow their dreams,” she added.

“People kind of only see your wins because they only see when you’re on the poster of a movie. They don’t see all the rejection along the way,” Roberts explained, adding that she has always thought it was important to be candid about the things she’s auditioned for and didn’t get the part for. “I think it’s important to talk about because otherwise people just think, ‘Oh, you know, everything’s been so great and linear and easy, and it’s like, no… not at all. But of course it looks like that to the outside perspective or to the naked eye.”

Other Hollywood stars have also spoken out about being labeled as nepo babies including Maya Hawke, Lily Allen, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Maude Apatow.

The “Nepo baby” discourse grew after the topic was explored in a 2022 New York Magazine story which examined the invisible network of family ties that can give the children of celebrities an advantage in the industry. 

Following the viral article, stars like O’Shea Jackson Jr., the son of rapper, actor and filmmaker Ice Cube, spoke out about the piece writing in a thread of tweets that people who are a part of generational wealth and talent should “Embrace that shit. Because it’s something that’s been happening for centuries.” 

Meanwhile, Jamie Lee Curtis, the daughter of actors Janet Leigh and Tony Curtis, also weighed in on the article with a post on Instagram, noting that she’s an “OG Nepo Baby” given she has been acting since age 19.

“I’ve never understood, nor will I, what qualities got me hired that day, but since my first two lines on Quincy as a contract player at Universal Studios to this last spectacular creative year some 44 years later, there’s not a day in my professional life that goes by without my being reminded that I am the daughter of movie stars,” she wrote. “The current conversation about nepo babies is just designed to try to diminish and denigrate and hurt.”

“For the record I have navigated 44 years with the advantages my associated and reflected fame brought me, I don’t pretend there aren’t any, that try to tell me that I have no value on my own,” she wrote. “It’s curious how we immediately make assumptions and snide remarks that someone related to someone else who is famous in their field for their art, would somehow have no talent whatsoever. I have come to learn that is simply not true. I have suited up and shown up for all different kinds of work with thousands of thousands of people and every day I’ve tried to bring integrity and professionalism and love and community and art to my work. I am not alone. There are many of us. Dedicated to our craft. Proud of our lineage. Strong in our belief in our right to exist.”

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