Tom Hanks Subtly Defends Nepotism Babies as He Discusses Youngest Son Truman’s Casting in ‘A Man Called Otto’: ‘It’s the Family Business’

Tom Hanks is one of the most famous actors in Hollywood. As a result, some of his children are following in his footsteps and working in entertainment. Hanks recently addressed the topic of nepotism and compared it to a “family business.”

Tom Hanks smiling
Tom Hanks | Juan Naharro Gimenez/Getty Images

‘Nepotism babies’ have been getting criticism

Nepotism has existed in most industries, but there has been a significant increase in criticism for so-called nepotism babies in Hollywood. This is mostly due to the fact that many celebrities with famous parents do not seem to acknowledge the privilege they were given.

For example, Lily-Rose Depp, the daughter of Johnny Depp and French singer Vanessa Paradis, has been getting criticism over a comment she made in her November 2022 interview with Elle. “People are going to have preconceived ideas about you or how you got there, and I can definitely say that nothing is going to get you the part except for being right for the part,” she said.

“The internet cares a lot more about who your family is than the people who are casting you in things. Maybe you get your foot in the door, but you still just have your foot in the door. There’s a lot of work that comes after that … it’s weird to me to reduce somebody to the idea that they’re only there because it’s a generational thing. It just doesn’t make any sense. If somebody’s mom or dad is a doctor, and then the kid becomes a doctor, you’re not going to be like, ‘Well, you’re only a doctor because your parent is a doctor.’ It’s like, ‘No, I went to medical school and trained.’”


Tom Hanks calls nepotism in entertainment a ‘family business’

Hanks has children who are working in entertainment. His oldest son, Colin Hanks, is an actor. Another son, Chester “Chet” Hanks, is a rapper and actor.

His youngest son, Truman Hanks, recently dipped his toes into acting by playing the younger version of Hanks’ character in the film A Man Named Otto. Speaking about Truman getting a role in his movie, Hanks told writer Pete Hammond for Deadline:

“Well, it’s the family business, Pete. And [this guy] comes along with the same last name. But as [director Marc] Forster himself recognized, there is a doppelganger effect. If you hold up a picture of me at the age of 26 and our youngest son at the age of 26, we are dead ringers for each other.”

He added, “I said, ‘Look, this is somebody else’s decision to make, not mine. But yeah, if you can hit the mark and tell the truth, let’s find out if you want to.”

Some nepotism babies are open about their privilege


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While some nepotism babies deny that their last name plays a role in their getting jobs, others are more open about it. Maya Hawke, the daughter of Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman, once commented on her family background.

“I feel like the only way to handle the nepotism thing — which definitely gives you massive advantages in this life — is, you will get chances for free, but the chances will not be infinite; so you have to keep working and do a good job,” she told Rolling Stone. “If you do a bad job, the chances will stop. That’s my ethos.”

More recently, Meghan McCain, the daughter of John McCain, took to Instagram to call out nepotism babies who downplay their privilege.

“To my fellow ‘Nepo babies’ – just acknowledge your privilege, the opportunities your last name has gotten you, and move on. It’s pretty simple,” she wrote. “At some point, talent and grit comes into play but let’s stop acting like this is in any way a rational burden that people know who [our] parents are – you sound like a*******. Thank you.”

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