The nepo baby discourse will never die, but it’s getting a slightly new perspective thanks to O’Shea Jackson Jr. When asked about his nepo baby status on The Kelly Clarkson Show, the actor decided to take a different approach than his peers, Lily Rose Depp, Hailey Bieber, and Gwyneth Paltrow, embracing the label as “a badge of honor.”
Given that Jackson got his start playing his dad, Ice Cube, in Straight Outta Compton, it’s not surprising that he would choose not to distance himself from his famous father. (Though, he and his father insist he auditioned for the film just like everybody else.) But it is still refreshing to see an actor not react defensively to being called out for benefiting from their parents’ success. “I’m forever grateful for everything that my dad had to do to give me the opportunities that I have,” Jackson told Kelly Clarson this week. “If I were to run away from that or shy away from it in any way, in my eyes that’s disrespectful to everything he had to go through. He didn’t work as far as he did for me to not accept and appreciate it.”
Jackson went on to say that while he is proud to be associated with his dad, he also knows he has to back that up with hard work on screen. “The door can be open, but you gotta walk through it,” he said. “I’m here to work. I pride myself on my professionalism.”
Nepo babies take note, it’s possible to acknowledge your privilege while also being proud of your work.