Dakota Johnson Says Nepo Discourse Is ‘Boring,’ But We’d Move On If She’d Just Act Normal About It

“If you’re a journalist, write about something else," Johnson said on the "Today Show." We want to, Dakota!! Help us!

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Dakota Johnson Says Nepo Discourse Is ‘Boring,’ But We’d Move On If She’d Just Act Normal About It

Dakota Johnson is currently making the media circuit rounds to promote Madame Web, a movie that she “[does not] know if this is going to be good at all,” and for better or for worse, she remains as quotable as always. On Wednesday, when Johnson stopped by the Today Show, noted pot-stirrer Hoda Kotb asked what she thought about the term “nepo baby”—a reference to entertainment industry nepotism beneficiaries, and a term which really had a moment after a New York magazine feature in 2022.

“When that first started I found it to be incredibly annoying and boring,” Johnson told Kotb. “If you’re a journalist, write about something else. That’s just lame. So the opportunity to make fun of it, I jumped at.” Johnson’s referring to her recent Saturday Night Live! sketch in which she and Please Don’t Destroy’s John Higgins and Martin Herlihy establish a “nepo truce” because of their famous dads. Johnson went on to explain how her dad, Don Johnson, cut her off financially when she chose to pursue acting instead of college after graduating high school, which, cool! Of course, many people who don’t have rich and/or famous parents don’t really have a say in that, nor do they have their parents’ names and connections to support their pursuit of acting.

What’s especially tiresome about Johnson’s Today show comments is that… we all could move on if she and Ben Platt and Lily-Rose Depp and Kelly Osbourne would just act vaguely normal about the fact that, by no choice or fault of their own, they’ve inevitably benefited from who their parents or family members are. Or we all could have just had a little laugh at her sketch and moved on—that’s all it takes, really. You could poke fun at it (like Johnson literally did last week). You could also be normal and transparent about it like when Kaia Gerber very calmly stated, “I won’t deny the privilege that I have” when asked about nepo discourse last year. And then we’d all just… move on!

But when you act weird about it—like, say, telling journalists to not perform the basic duties of their jobs, like researching who is benefiting from varying systems of power and privilege—how do you expect people to not talk about that…? A big part of why people go feral over this topic on social media is that nepo babies’ attempts at secrecy, narrative control, and general discomfort over engaging with reality all make for very hot gossip.

All that said, if Johnson wants us to “write about something else,” I do think we moved on a little too quickly from her 2021 comments complaining about “the clamor of cancel culture” and her “incredible” experiences working with alleged abusers Johnny Depp, Shia LaBeouf, and Armie Hammer. Happy to jump back into that one when we’re done with her defensive and annoying nepo baby comments.

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