Hollywood nepotism

Will Smith is a big Hollywood star. He and his actor wife Jada Pinkett-Smith seem intent on using their own star power to advance the acting career of their young son Jaden, securing two co-starring roles for him. The second one After Earth got panned by critics and also bombed at the US box office.

The Onion had a great parody article purportedly written by Jaden.

I’m starting to wonder if maybe—and I could very well be overthinking this, so bear with me here—the gimmick of my dad and I starring in the same film is actually more obnoxious than appealing. And maybe not just obnoxious, but super obnoxious. Downright repellent, actually.

I can’t help but think that maybe, somewhere along the line, when my wealthy, A-list celebrity parents began developing projects solely as vehicles to build my career and make the Smith family hundreds of millions of dollars richer than it already was, the concept of my father using his clout to shoehorn me into co-starring film roles might possibly have started rubbing people the wrong way. I can certainly see, for instance, how my dad contriving a $130-million Hollywood science-fiction film in an attempt to promote me to his level of fame and fortune could maybe come across as a tad self-serving.

In fact, maybe—just maybe—people might view the movie as less of a great film starring an actor they love and his lovable son, and more of a soulless vanity project. Or go so far as to say such blatant nepotism and hunger for fame is the biggest problem in Hollywood today, and in the United States of America as a whole.

The whole thing is not only pretty funny but right on target. Nepotism is a problem in America, not just in Hollywood but in politics and the media too.


  1. Chiroptera says

    Heh. Or maybe it’s because M. Night Shyamalan was involved. Too many variables. We need a better control.

  2. wtfwhateverd00d says

    It’s quite common using the IMDB or Wiki to find how many successful actors or Hollywood writers are children of successful actors or Hollywood writers.

    Joss Whedon is a third generation Hollywood writer — I am certain his first scripts, which had to be good, still had an easier time making it past studio filters, and quite possibly by being handed directly to some director and being told: “This is Tom’s kid”.

    Same thing with politicians, not just the Bushes or Clintons. Pat Brown and Jerry Brown are two examples from my home state.

    In that light, Will Smith’s efforts, while understandable, are exceptionally heavy handed, especially given his obvious talent, not just in acting, but in picking scripts, and directing his career.

  3. Timothy says

    My thoughts:

    The Onion gives Americans too much credit for insight. “After Earth” was simply a bad film. Had it been good, I’m guessing the public would have looked past the father/son thing.

    Speaking the Will & family, let’s not forget his daughter Willow, ’cause we’ll never seen a video like “Whip My Hair” from a 10-year-old from non-famous parents:


    Yep. She got this opportunity entirely on her own.

    Seriously. She was 10. What were the Smiths’ thinking?

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