Everyone hates nepotism. Well, everyone hates it when it is someone else’s family. When it is us getting an undeserved foot in the door or leg up above the competition, we are fine with it. Nepotism has invaded just about every type of business in America. Lately, the buzz has been about “nepo babies” referring to the sons, daughters, and relatives of actors. But nepotism is everywhere. Except one place, but we will get to that later.
Nepotism is alive and well in Hollywood, but people forget, Hollywood has always been a “who you know” town and a place where getting one’s foot in the door is 80 percent of the battle. At least the first battle. From there, success has to happen. And in Hollywood, name recognition goes a long way. That will get you those 1st roles. From there, it is at least semi-important that the ratings or box office receipts merit bringing one back.
Nepotism has always been alive and well in the business world. Sometimes it works out, and sometimes it doesn’t. Many a long living company has been destroyed by heirs who lack daddy or mommy’s expertise, skills, and instincts that made that company live, thrive, and survive.
Nepotism is alive and well in schools. It is estimated that almost half of students accepted at private colleges get accepted because they are the children of past students. Ever hear of the term “legacy admission?”
One place it doesn’t exist is professional sports. Yes, the children of athletes sometimes follow in their footsteps. But they rarely get to the professional level, just like the kids of non-athletes rarely get there. Teams at the pro level in major sports don’t sign people or draft them just because of who’s kid they are. That might get them an undeserved look, but it won’t get them on the field. Sports is one of the rare places that merit still matters over everything else. One of the last places where people who don’t produce or don’t deliver don’t get to participate just because of who they are.
Schools need to be more like that. Businesses need to be more like that. Hollywood will never be like that, and that’s ok. As Bill Maher puts it, when flying, most Americans want “a cockpit that looks like America, but also want someone who can fly the plane.”
Check out Bill’s full New Rules segment from his HBO program, Real Time with Bill Maher below for his comments on nepotism (which don’t totally agree with mine) …