New York Magazine‘s latest cover story on children of famous and well-connected families, referred to as nepotism babies (nepo for short), has sparked conversation around the entire entertainment industry.
The fairly exhaustive list ranged from favorites like Dan Levy, Billie Lourd, and Liza Minnelli to “Who??” figures with famous last names like Sasha Spielberg and Ireland Baldwin.
Among this lengthy profile was a subsection of “industry babies”, folks not quite put on by their famous families but whose loved ones’ connections and industry know-how helped them along in some way.
This is where they start to reach a bit.
Sprinkled in between the Deschanels, Gyllenhaals, and Brandy/Ray J power duo are folks like Phoebe Bridgers and Meghan Markle (noted as “Daughter of a set builder” and “Daughter of a lighting director” respectively).
One of the additions that the internet seems to find most egregious, however, is Timothée Chalamet. His parents are a former Le Parisien reporter and a former Broadway dancer-turned-dance and French professor at Yale; notable jobs, but seemingly nothing that would put him on the map.
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The real industry baby qualifications are apparently through his aunt and uncle, who are both writers and directors. Both have mainly worked in TV: his uncle Rodman Flender directed two episodes for each The Office, Ugly Betty, and MTV’s Scream TV series, as well as one Gilmore Girls episode and one The O.C. episode. His aunt co-created ’90s FOX sitcom Party Of Five, and that’s about it.
None of these scream “international film icon by 25”-creating accomplishments. Really, the only film claim in his family at all is his uncle’s direction of 1994’s Leprechaun 2. That might’ve actually counted as a mark against him if he’d tried to use it as a name-drop.
Though Chalamet has dated actual nepotism babies Lourdes Leon and Lily-Rose Depp — and could even probably claim his older Sex Lives of College Girls sister Pauline as a nepotistic dependent — it really seems like the actor launched through talent, luck, and the vague, general privilege that came with being an attractive upper-middle class cis white straight male in New York. (No shade!)
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If the stans have any say in it, he’ll be beating the nepo allegations indefinitely. As soon as the profile hit the internet the Chalamet Defense Squad rallied, ready to defend their favorite tinseltown twink against these heinous, horrid accusations.
They’re channeling the Iyanla Vanzant “Not on my watch!” gif:
an angel loses their wings every time someone says timothée chalamet is a nepo baby
— paige (@laurieslaurence) December 19, 2022
Timothée Chalamet catching Nepo Baby strays for being the NEPHEW of the director of LEPRECHAUN 2 is so unserious hsjdhsjsjsjs pic.twitter.com/XFB1Nwg3XW
— Zoë Rose Bryant (@ZoeRoseBryant) December 19, 2022
timothee chalamet is an INDUSTRY baby, not a NEPO baby *pushes all the tables and chairs away from me, and breaks windows with my mind*
— ؘ (@articIed) December 19, 2022
Leave Timothée out of his nepotism controversies, the only thing he ever did was date the two least talented nepo babys, THATS IT, he’s a hardworking artist!
— Dune II & Challengers era (@tashidonaldson_) December 19, 2022
academy award nominee Timothée Chalamet reading the nepo discourse unbothered probably pic.twitter.com/pkKATtt02t
— catherine (@caffffff) December 19, 2022
other nepo kids on the list: father built the empire state building with his bare hands, mother most popular singer in 67 different countries
timothee: dated madonna’s daughter in a high school known for famous alumni 😭
— annie ♱ (@fIashverse) December 20, 2022
mentioning gf nepotism too im crying by this logic we need joe alwyn on there too
— wengel (@wengelll) December 19, 2022
However, the best defense of all details just how hard he worked to make a name for himself:
timothée chalamet isn’t a nepo baby, he whored his way through nyc to get to where he is today
— 🕊 (@dunwaIl) December 20, 2022