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Ben Stiller Nepotism Backlash

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You know Ben Stiller. He’s a super famous actor, who’s starred in blockbusters like Meet the Fockers, There’s Something About Mary, Night at the Museum, and more.


Nbc / NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Earlier this week, Deadline reported that Hopper Penn and Brian D’arcy James are set to star in a short film, which is directed and written by Destry Spielberg and Owen King, respectively.

Let’s just break that alllll down. Hopper Penn is the son of famous actors Sean Penn and Robin Wright; Destry Spielberg is obviously the daughter of acclaimed filmmaker Steven Spielberg; Owen King is the son of horror author Stephen King.


Toni Anne Barson / FilmMagic

So, basically, this film stars and is created by the kids of super rich and famous Hollywood people.


Astrid Stawiarz / Getty Images

Shortly after, film producer Franklin Leonard pointed how this sums up the nepotistic nature of Hollywood, saying, “Hollywood’s a meritocracy, right?”


@franklinleonard / Via Twitter: @franklinleonard

Meritocracy basically means you succeed based on how “good” you are at something.

Ben Stiller — who is the child of famous actors Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara — tweeted back at Franklin, saying, “Too easy. People, working, creating. Everyone has their path. Wish them all the best.”

@franklinleonard Too easy @franklinleonard. People, working, creating. Everyone has their path. Wish them all the best.

Franklin replied, saying it’s still “important to acknowledge those paths.”

@RedHourBen I do, without fail, but I also think it’s important that we acknowledge those paths.

Ben then replied, asserting that Hollywood is “ultimately a meritocracy.”

@franklinleonard Yes. Just speaking from experience, and I don’t know any of them, I would bet they all have faced challenges. Different than those with no access to the industry. Show biz as we all know is pretty rough, and ultimately is a meritocracy.

They then went back and forth a few more times:

@franklinleonard @BillMurphyJr I guess you don’t want me to agree with you? I think I was acknowledging your point, after you responded. Not sure what you are inferring in terms of what people think of their own success. But thanks for illuminating a perspective that I truly had not viewed the issue through.

@franklinleonard @BillMurphyJr Your perspective illuminated a POV For me. We might not totally agree on the generalization that most Hollywood folks believe one thing or another. But that’s less important than what you are saying about the overall very tilted and uneven landscape of the business.


Twitter: @RedHourBen

People were not happy with Ben’s comments:

Ben Stiller deciding that Hollywood is “ultimately a meritocracy” is so funny to me

Not Ben Stiller trying to convince us that Stephen King’s son, Sean Penn’s son, and Stephen Spielberg’s daughter have not had an easier path into the industry 😂😂 https://t.co/eN3JuqMTJ0


Twitter: @ElTacoLuis

Another topic from today that has CLEARLY been handled…in which Franklin Leonard gently refers to Hollywood nepotism and then is challenged by Ben Stiller, the child of entertainment industry comedy royalty 🙃 https://t.co/6uX4aGR8hN


Twitter: @PiaGlenn

@RedHourBen @franklinleonard Incredibly talented people get limited opportunities while white men with box office bombs keep getting projects with big budgets.

Your insistence that it’s a “meritocracy” when reality too often shows otherwise is extremely frustrating, unless those merits = $$ relationships.

After that debate, Destry Spielberg tweeted that she acknowledges her privilege, but wants to “bring new talent into the industry and give opportunities to artists of all backgrounds.”

I acknowledge that i was born with privilege! I own that through and through! I make it my mission to bring new talent into the industry & give opportunities to artists of all backgrounds. No one should be left out because of the connections they dont have.

Ben has not responded to the backlash, but he did reply to a fan, who observed the debate, with this tweet:

So, there’s that. We’ll keep you updated if anything else develops.

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Hamilton Facetime After Emmys And More Celeb Tweets

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1.

Holland Taylor shared her appreciation for girlfriend Sarah Paulson’s Emmys look:


Rich Fury / Getty Images

2.

Lin-Manuel Miranda revealed that while he wasn’t at the Emmys in person, his Hamilton cast made sure to FaceTime him to celebrate their win for Outstanding Variety Special:

Back in NY working, but the fam called with the news. Grateful for these incredibly talented friends, extraordinary collaborators, and grateful for you.
-LMM #YayHamlet


Twitter: @Lin_Manuel

3.

Shonda Rhimes and so many others celebrated Michaela Coel’s win for I May Destroy You — she took home the Outstanding Writing for a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie award:


Twitter: @shondarhimes

4.

Chris Rock revealed that he has COVID and urged fans to get the vaccine:

Hey guys I just found out I have COVID, trust me you don’t want this. Get vaccinated.


Twitter: @chrisrock

5.

Earth, Wind & Fire wanted to know if we remembered that it was the day before the 21st night of September:


Twitter: @EarthWindFire

6.

Devon Sawa both gave me nostalgia and made me feel approximately 1,000 years old:

If they shot Now and Then today, the girls would be looking back at the 90s. Same time frame.


Twitter: @DevonESawa

7.

Ariana Grande kicked off her first season as a judge on The Voice, and John Legend praised her for her math skills. Ariana only had one person to thank for that — her mom, Joan Grande:


Twitter: @ArianaGrande

9.

Halsey celebrated their upcoming performance on Saturday Night Live opposite Kim Kardashian as the host:


Twitter: @halsey

10.

Taylor Swift signed a bunch of CDs but may have a claw-shaped hand from now on…totally worth it:

It’s true, I signed them all and it’s also true that I may never write the same again, as my hand is now frozen in the permanent shape of a claw. All for you 😘 https://t.co/mnSkHyNCy6


Twitter: @taylorswift13

13.

Lil Nas X shared a still from a mashup of his song “That’s What I Want” with Olivia Rodrigo’s “Good 4 U”:


Twitter: @LilNasX

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Britney Spears Told The Story Of Justin Timberlake Giving Her A “5 Minute Pep Talk” Before Her 2001 MTV VMAs Performance After He Finally Apologized For His Past Treatment Of Her

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This is the second time that Spears has made reference to her ex-boyfriend since he extended an apology for his past treatment of her following their 2002 breakup.


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The 25 Best Love Island UK Contestants, Ranked

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Lovely, lovely Kaz, always stylish, has this infectious, confident, energetic kindness. Also, she is ridiculously good in an argument.

Unfortunately, many Series 7 men were blind. Kaz spent her first days with an uninterested Toby (who we’ll get to, don’t worry), then she went on dates with the A+ Teddy and the too-bad-to-discuss Danny, both of which did not go anywhere except the aces friendship couple of Kaz and Aaron. Then Tyler walked in, charm, extraversion, and beauty headed straight for Kaz, and she was smitten. Though, quite soon, Tyler forgot she existed at Casa Amor, which was the catalyst’s for Kaz to couple up with Matthew. In the aftermath, Kaz calmly, clearly, concisely, extremely intelligently ripped Tyler to shreds. 

But they gravitated towards each other again. Within weeks, Tyler asked Kaz to be exclusive in an homage to Love Actually because Kaz adores rom coms. The couple came in fourth place, but they should have come in at least third. At least. Kaz was astute, fun, wise, empathetic, suave, and an exceptionally first-rate friend, notably to Liberty. Their perfect friendship was the best relationship of Series 7 by a thousand miles.

If you think the treatment of Kaz, including how she and Tyler placed fourth as the first entirely Black couple in a finale, does not have to do with racism, look inward and see how wrong you are. Love Island isn’t good to Black women, particularly dark-skinned Black women. Kaz had to swim upstream in a system designed to eliminate her from the show. She isn’t on this list because of that, she’s here because of her impeccable personality and (somewhat) her drama, but the role racism played in Kaz’s experience cannot go unmentioned. 

During all the fights, snakes, and lesser men vying for superior women, Kaz was battling a much more prodigious war, one she did not sign up for.

In the end, Kaz slayed the lawless, icy, ever-reigning goliath: Love Island.



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