AceShowbiz - O'Shea Jackson Jr. and Lily Allen feel the need to speak up after "nepo babies" are heavily roasted on social media. The son of Ice Cube and the daughter of actor Keith Allen and film producer Alison Owen have defended themselves after Vulture published "Year of the Nepo Baby" cover story that delves deep into how nepotism in Hollywood gives the children of famous celebrities a boost up the ladder.
While O'Shea and Lily are not particularly mentioned in the article, they have since taken to social media to highlight their works to build their own careers in the industry. O'Shea detailed his journey to land a role in "Straight Outta Compton", in which he plays his own father.
Noting it was his father's dream for his eldest son to play him, the 31-year-old said he was "already in college for screenwriting at USC" when the project got the green light. "I accepted the challenge. And auditioned for two years before getting the role. After that it was up to me, he couldn't hold my hand through my career," he wrote on Twitter.
"I had to get my a** up and make it work. From the roles I chose. The work ethic I put into them. My professionalism on sets and promo tours. Even leaving HIS agency and goin to find a team of my own. Once the door was opened it was up to me to walk through it and thrive," he claimed.
Still, the rapper acknowledged his father's emotional support. He said, "But none of that. NONE. OF. THAT. Happens that way without the love of my father. The work he put in to get us to a place of opportunity. And for me to ignore that or not accept and use as a guide would be foolish and disrespectful. I am grateful and I use his teachings daily."
Claiming that nepotism has "been happening for centuries," he urged other privileged children to "embrace" it. "Do not let anyone get it in your head that you should feel bad or your accomplishments are less than what they are. Bust your a**! Do the work! And leave something for your kids to do the same thing!" he continued. "It is not a shadow for you to get out of! It is an empire to which you are growing!"
"But it all starts with love of yourself. Love of those before you. A strong mind & WORK," he shared advice. "I wish everyone in this world to be able to present opportunities for their children to succeed. No matter how big or small. It's something all parents work for. How many people you know working multiple jobs to put they kids through school. Making opportunities is a parents goal. Family first. May everyone who reads this, blaze a trail for their family to be able to walk in the future. And teach them to love themselves. To love their family. And pave the way for the next."
Meanwhile, Lily initially brushed off the allegations as she claimed, "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. BUT that's none of my business."
After getting backlash over her comment, she explained in a series of tweets, "Look, I seem to have riled people up with my comments about nepo babies. I think it's important to disclose what a privileged upbringing I've had and how that has created so many opportunities for me, in my twenties I felt very defensive about it, I felt like I worked extremely hard and that I deserved the success that I had, that people connected to my songs and that the songs came from me, I also had quite a fraught relationship with some of my family members so it felt difficult for me to attribute my successes to them, at the time."
"But we all know it's more complicated than that," she admitted. "It is quite clear that there is a severe lack of representation in the industry where class and race are concerned. Everyone loses as a result. I do feel that nepo babies are being somewhat scapegoated here though, there is a wider, societal conversation to be had about wealth inequality, about lack of programs and funding, and I guess that was the point I was trying to make, maybe badly."
"I promise you I'm not rooting for an industry full of people that had childhoods that looked like mine," she stressed. "I just really think that we can't get to a real solution without identifying the real problem, as fun as it is to laugh at the kids of famous people. Nepo babies have feelings."