“For me, growing up, the downside of it was that as a kid you don't want to stand out. You don't want to have a famous father let alone get a job because of your famous father, you know? But I'm a product of nepotism. That's how I got my foot in the door, through my dad.” –Jeff Bridges

First used in 1670, the word nepotism, Latin for nepotis (nephew), was used to describe preferential treatment granted to relatives regardless of merit. Originally started as a practice by Catholic popes and bishops of the Middle Ages, who had taken vows of chastity, they regularly gave their nephews positions of partiality since they had no children of their own. Since then, not much has changed.

Nowadays, nepotistic tendencies, especially for those in positions of power, are regularly spotted and scrutinized, with media and technology making it easier to determine which individuals are working hard or hardly work. From Jean Sarkozy, son of the current and vertically challenged French President Nicolas Sarkozy, becoming the head of the EPAD in 2009 without a diploma or any experience, to the continued dynastic nepotism of the Gandhi’s in India to the Paltrows, Fondas, Douglas’, Roberts, and others who reign over Hollywood—Will and Jada Pinkett Smith being the worst of the lot—nepotism is alive and well. And let’s not forget Jay-Z’s recent blatant display by putting his newborn’s cries on his new song, which made Blue Ivy the youngest artist to chart on the Billboard Charts. Someone better start recording sonogram heartbeats ASAP if you’re even gonna attempt to out do that. Conception might even be a viable option…

As with any other field, the arts are fraught with varying degrees of nepotism on a wide scale, here are 15 examples.

Tags: art, photography, nepotism, art-history-worth-caring-about
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