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Netflix Gets Real About ‘Nepo Baby’ Discourse With National Youth Theatre Partnership

Last Updated: July 1, 2023
A new survey demonstrated that the conversation goes beyond the front of the camera and the resurgence of nepotism in entertainment.

Nepotism discourse has been a long-lasting conversation for years. Still, social media users are recently challenging the term of what being a “Nepo Baby” in the entertainment industry means.  

A nepotism baby represents someone using the favor of family, friends or associates to climb the social ladder in any industry. After the infamous New Yorker article, social media found out about the famous “Nepo Babies” in the entertainment industry, causing people to view them differently due to the perks they may have received from family members.  

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A recent survey by the National Youth Theatre showed that 3,000 young creatives in the U.K. discovered that the “nepo-baby” term also benefits those beyond the camera to behind-the-scenes roles, as reported by Deadline.

79% of survey users said they need connections instead of talent and determination to make it in the industry, and 68% were set on the need to live in a prominent city to maintain a career in TV and film.

“Theatre is one of the great pipelines to TV and Film, but sadly the pipeline of opportunity for so many young people has been broken for so long,” said Paul Roseby, CEO and artistic director of National Youth Theatre. “Certain parts of the creative industries are growing, but ironically so is the skills gap in production talent. This partnership will help redress the imbalance, and we’re thrilled to be pioneering it with our friends at Netflix.”

With this new data, Netflix has decided to crack down on the “Nepo Baby” conversation with a program in partnership with the National Youth Theatre. IGNITE Your Creativity is a program based on networking and raising awareness for opportunities in the entertainment industry. 

“Young people are brilliantly astute, so it’s unsurprising that they believe connections rather than raw talent are key to success,” Anne Mensah, Netflix’s VP of UK Content, told Deadline. “Unfortunately, the evidence proves that they are not wrong. Our industry has a pronounced absence of socio-economic diversity partly because it’s freelance, which makes it tough for those from less privileged backgrounds to gain a foothold.”

The program starts recruiting in South Wales in partnership with War of the Worlds producer before moving to West Yorkshire and the North East. Through this program, creators hope to show students that there is more to being successful than nepotism.

Longtime actress Jamie Lee Curtis took to Instagram to share her thoughts surrounding nepotism and expressed how connected entertainers can view the term as hurtful. 

“I have been a professional actress since I was 19 years old, so that makes me an OG Nepo Baby,” she captioned. “I’ve never understood, nor will I, what qualities got me hired that day… but there’s not a day in my professional life that goes by without my being reminded that I am the daughter of movie stars.”

As the conversation continues to develop, programs, platforms, and streaming services like Netflix have continued their efforts to level the playing field to show students that they all have a fair chance in the industry whether they have connections or not. 


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