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Zooey Deschanel Defended Her 'Nepo Baby' Status - And Twitter Isn't Holding Back

"New Girl" star Zooey Deschanel has insisted that she's not really a nepo baby, and social media has some pretty strong feelings about that statement.

In an interview with Lewis Howes, Deschanel explained how she didn't believe familial connections played a significant part in her climb of the Hollywood ladder. "It's funny 'cause people be like, 'Oh, like, nepotism.' My father is a DP [cinematographer] ... no one's getting jobs because they're dad's a DP," she said. So, what's the problem here? Well, her father Caleb Deschanel is a pretty famous cinematographer. Point in fact, he's been nominated for six Academy Awards. Not just that, but Deschanel's mother Mary Jo is an actor known for playing Eileen Hayward in "Twin Peaks" and Annie Glenn in "The Right Stuff" (she was already married to Caleb Deschanel at that point). Zooey Deschanel's sister Emily is also an actor who led the series "Bones" for over a decade, and the latter's first film role was in "It Could Happen to You," on which Caleb Deschanel worked as a cinematographer.

There's sort of zero doubt, at this point, that Deschanel is a bona-fide nepo baby. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but the fact that she has drawn attention to it in a defensive way is all but guaranteed to inspire some discourse — and over on X (formerly known as Twitter), there was plenty of chatter about her comments.

Zooey Deschanel's comments about being a nepo baby made waves on social media

Some users on X, like @XMemeTeam, sort of defended Zooey Deschanel's famous and accomplished parents: "Your parents aint work that damn hard for you to deny the step up they gave you." Meanwhile, @english_shamar basically agreed, saying, "There's nothing wrong with being a nepo baby especially when you're talented but don't act like your parents didn't put you in a better position to succeed than others due to their connections in the industry." Another user, @hyunnie_hunny, chimed in with a similar sentiment: "I get that she and her sister was able to establish their worth with their acting skills but it is incredibly rude to disregard that she [and her sister] did have an advantage."

The gist is basically this: nobody is coming after either of the famous Deschanel sisters for being nepo babies. As fans have pointed out, both have established that they have plenty of talent. The issue here is that frequently, stars with famous family members immediately go on the defensive and try to pretend that having connections never assisted them at all, when the way to handle the entire situation is to simply embrace your lineage. Some nepo babies are famous actors like the Deschanel daughters, while some take cues from their family histories and start directing horror flicks — case in point, "Longlegs," which boasts quite the Hitchcock and "Psycho" connection because of its director. Either way, nobody is denying Deschanel's talent, but she can be honest about the fact that she had an advantage early in her career.

To read more about the prominent Hollywood discourse, check out Xoop's coverage of the nepo baby controversy (and why it's overblown).