Kate Hudson on nepotism: ‘if you work hard and you kill it, it doesn’t matter’

Kate Hudson is great in Knives Out 2: The Glass Onion. She’s definitely sending up a certain kind of privileged celebrity woman, the kind of tone-deaf, casually racist, vapid, past-her-prime beauty who gets by on her connections and her side-hustles. I can understand why Kate was cast, and I’m not saying that as a slam on Kate at all – I actually like Kate Hudson a lot and I think she did a great job in The Glass Onion. But this definitely wasn’t a huge acting stretch for her. Kate has given several interviews to promote The Glass Onion, and the interviewers have started venturing into some of the topics of the day, namely “cancel culture” and nepotism. From Kate’s interview in the Independent:

She’s well-liked by everyone because she keeps it real: “I’ve not led a very traditional life, you know? Maybe that resonates? Women do come up to me and talk to me about their personal lives a lot. I think because I’ve always been really open and honest about everything. I could never be phoney about it. It’d be exhausting.”

What Kate thinks of people being “canceled”: “People should just have a deeper awareness, right? And people who don’t are being called out. We should hold people accountable who do anything that’s sexist, misogynistic, or racist. We should call out the lack of diversity in companies. Or the lack of women on boards. Kanye should be held accountable for his behaviour. Period. There are clear things that [warrant], you know, ‘You’re cancelled, bye!’”

She does feel like people should go easier on canceling the youths: “If you’re over 40, there’s a line. Where it gets challenging is when it swings too far in the other direction. I don’t want kids to be scared to make art, or to say things. They need to take risks and speak their minds, because what they want to say could actually be really powerful. You can’t just cancel someone because they’ve made a little mistake. My only thing with ‘cancel culture’ is that it scares the younger generation. They don’t know if what they’re about to say is going to be met negatively or positively, so they just choose to not say anything. I think we can make a little bit of room for the younger generation to find their way.”

On her famous parents: “When I was starting out, if anybody asked me about them, I’d always try and change the subject. I really wanted to have my own career. Once I was a good decade in, though, I realised it just didn’t matter. Sometimes talking about my parents was actually a great distraction from talking about the movie I was meant to be promoting.”

On nepotism & knowing her sh-t: “There was a lot more criticism. I really felt like I had to know my s***, and be as prepared as I could be. It felt like I had to live up to something.” But she admits that there seemed to be a lot less “son-or-daughter-ofs” back then. It meant a more glaring spotlight was placed on her. “It was me, maybe Gwyneth… I just felt so lucky to get parts. I think a lot of directors and producers didn’t want to hire me because they didn’t want [my parents] to become what the movie was about.” She definitely didn’t feel as if her parents helped her get work eventually, either. “I remember Cameron Crowe saying that it wasn’t as if Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell showed up to his door with, like, trench coats on, holding a gun to his head and making him put me in the movie. That’s not how any of this works.”

More on nepotism: “The nepotism thing, I mean… I don’t really care. I look at my kids and we’re a storytelling family. It’s definitely in our blood. People can call it whatever they want, but it’s not going to change it. I actually think there are other industries where it’s [more common]. Maybe modelling? I see it in business way more than I see it in Hollywood. Sometimes I’ve been in business meetings where I’m like, wait, whose child is this? Like, this person knows nothing! I don’t care where you come from, or what your relationship to the business is – if you work hard and you kill it, it doesn’t matter.”

[From The Independent]

Re: nepotism… I mean, she looks SO MUCH like her mother. That was a huge part of Kate’s selling point in the early days of her career, the fact that she looks so much like Goldie and she’s perky and blonde. Please, Hollywood sent Kate every rom-com script they had. So yeah, she got a huge leg up in the industry – I wish she would acknowledge that in a real way. Other than that, I like and agree with everything else she says here. Nepotism happens in every industry, and I’m sure she’s been in business meetings where she knows more about the business than whatever Business Nepo Baby. I also like what she says about accountability and how a lot of people do deserve to be canceled for being deplorable.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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60 Responses to “Kate Hudson on nepotism: ‘if you work hard and you kill it, it doesn’t matter’”

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  1. Torttu says:

    Well, Kate, it’s like getting straight to Wimbledon without having to play the lower tiers for years and years, but lucky you I guess.

    • Josephine says:

      She’s just plain wrong which is too bad because some of the other stuff she said was fine. Not sure why it’s so dang hard just to admit that you had a huge leg up. Her career has been long enough for her to feel like she has talent, too, but it’s silly and so arrogant to spew this crap about how it was really harder for her and she had no advantage. I guess being the kid of stars makes you superbly entitled.

      • Tarzana says:

        ‘Nepotism Happens’ is what I take from this. In Hollywood, you can know your sh*t, train, workshops, show up early, leave late, direct, produce, learn everybody’s lines, attend all them after parties, pay your dues, etc. But at the end of the day, you have your look-a-like mom and step-pa to thank for getting your foot in the door to every single one of those opportunities. Someone else, maybe a woman of color, is out there hustling a hundred times more than you ever thought possible. Yet and still, you got that on nepotism advantage over them.

      • Sue E Generis says:

        I think the subject of ‘nepotism’ is equivalent to ‘white privilege’ a few years ago. The people who benefit are offended because they’re not really getting the point of the discussion. THey’re interpreting it as everyone else thinking they should not be where they are and don’t deserve it vs. understanding that the issue is being aware that you are a beneficiary and not looking down on, or blocking others who don’t enjoy those benefits. Also, I think, it would be nice if they could admit they’ve had it easier and use their influence/awareness to give a leg up to others who don’t have access when they can.

      • Juju says:

        I wish one of these interviewers would ask follow up questions like… “who was your first agent? WOW, your first agent was at ICM, one of the top agencies in the entire world! Do you think young actors without family connections are regularly able to sign with agencies of that magnitude without any credits? Or… do you think your mom and dad might have had a little something to do with that?”

        Seriously… managers and agents MAKE a career in LA. You don’t get in front of the big directors and producers without them. And nepo-babies are much more likely to get signed without experience than others.

        And most businesses have nepotism policies and conflict of interest policies to limit the impact of hiring someone due to their family connections.

  2. TIFFANY says:

    I like Kate. She is who she is and makes no excuses for it.

    She is out here loving and living life and is not being awful in doing so.

    She ain’t perfect, but she is not a monster either.

    • mel says:

      It’s incredibly deluded or disingenuous to pretend that you walking onto third base is the same as someone who has to get a hit, get to the base , get stranded while on base and sometimes they have to go back to home plate and start over. In the mean time she only has to go back to third base if her career goes off track. I’m pretty sure she never had to worry about not getting a job and then figure out how she was going to eat or pay rent.

  3. HeyKay says:

    Wrong Kate.
    It does matter.
    IRL, many people work hard and do more just to try to get a bit ahead only to have the Boss’ kid stroll in to be given a better job, wage, benefits, etc.

    Nepo is a set up. Just shut up about it, your entire career and millions in the bank are because you look just like your wealthy, famous Mom and she and Kurt got your foot in the door.
    The fact that you think you worked hard makes me angry. You started life on 3rd base and strolled into a homerun, married equally wealthy, live a fabulous life of luxury. And so will your kids.
    I spent time this AM, making another payment plan arrangement with my electric company, despite working more than 30 years.

    • Dutch says:

      Hudson is underselling the foot in the door big time. I’m sure she had an agent right out of the gate, which gets you to a variety of better roles rather than other struggling actors who had to beat out hundreds of other actors to get a one-line part as a bodega clerk on Law & Order.

      • Sue E Generis says:

        This! The privileged genuinely don’t understand that access is actually the major step to success. Yes, preparation and effort matter, but most people practice both and will never get an opportunity unless they’re lucky.

        To everyone who is successful at anything, it’s all luck. People don’t like hearing that because they think you’re saying they aren’t talented or hardworking (sometimes true), but really, almost everyone pursuing a similar goal is putting in effort.

        The one that gets plucked out of the crowd is due to luck or connections. Someone decides to give that one person a shot because they look their fave sister, they’re from the same background, they were in a good mood that day, the situation required a body and the person happened to be available right then, they have famous, wealthy or connected parents etc.

        Not one of us is truly exceptional (there’s a reason exceptional usually refers to the top 1% of a group).

      • Debbie says:

        I can’t believe her take on this issue of some people having an inherent advantage starting out which others don’t have: Well, it’s not like Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell went to Cameron Crow’s house and held a gun to his head to make him give her a starring role in his movie. Wow.

    • Fender says:

      You call it as it is. The way she so desperately deflects the core of the issue is so enerving. What an entitled overrated actress.

  4. Kitten says:

    “I see it in business way more than I see it in Hollywood. Sometimes I’ve been in business meetings where I’m like, wait, whose child is this? Like, this person knows nothing!”

    This made me chuckle. I’m not really sure if nepotism is more prevalent in the corp world than in Hollywood or not, but she does bring up a good point about these people mostly flying under the radar while Hollywood nepo babies get constant criticism. I’m reminded of Belichick’s mostly untalented, extremely mediocre sons landing prominent NFL jobs.
    I’ve always wondered what it was like to fail up. On one hand, it’s probably sweet to never have to struggle financially or worry about carving out a career that is essentially handed to you on a silver platter. On the other hand, the Imposter Syndrome must be fucking unbearable.

    • Dara says:

      It really is everywhere. A lot of people find their way into the so-called family business. Police and firefighters usually have a relative somewhere in their family tree that did the same work. How many plumbing companies out there are “Whosit and Sons”? Don’t we as a society admire second or even third generation farmers and ranchers? The only time I really have a problem with it when the nepo baby is really bad at what they do, make no effort to change that, and are still promoted.

      I used to help my manager sift through candidates looking for new, entry level sales reps for the group she managed. She asked me to look at one that had good experience for his age and it was obvious he had worked for his dad’s company – his last name was the same as the company on his resume. I rolled my eyes and said absolutely not. I’m glad she didn’t listen to me and hired him anyway. He was one of the best reps we had while I was there. Motivated, hard working, open to coaching. It was obvious he had actually worked hard for his family business. Some nepo babies do earn their place.

      • Kitten says:

        Haha yeah I work for a family-owned insurance agency. Owner’s son is my boss and his sisters are all shareholders. I won’t list all the examples of how they reward themselves and screw their employees but sufficed to say the inequity is REAL.

        To your last paragraph, no doubt. I do feel like the example you used is more applicable to blue collar work, where people might be born into a family business that still requires learning a trade or specific skillset o sustain that business. That’s different than my example of an insanely wealthy, privileged kid who doesn’t possess any particular skill beyond being lucky.

      • Dara says:

        @Kitten, that sucks. I don’t know that I could tolerate that, you are a better person than I am. I have been fortunate. The people I have encountered that have been hired because of personal connections were all good eggs. They realized they were lucky to get their foot in the door, and they did their best to earn their spot. But how they got there in the first place was patently unfair.

      • CourtneyB says:

        Even in the military which is as close to a meritocracy as you can get. My hubby did 28 years in the USAF. Our son joined the Guard while in college. His dad gave him all kinds of tips and advice for basic training and tech school. He was honor grad at both. He’s a naturally smart kid and he worked hard but he also grew up in the military environment and got those tips from his dad.you can’t overlook it. He was way more prepared and knowledgeable than some regular 18 year olds. So strict nepotism and It’s watered down varieties really can exist everywhere. (At basic training graduation hubby also wound up having a bunch of our son’s fellow cadets come up to him, their families too, to ask about what to expect in tEch school. He spent a bunch of time career counseling and gave his email so they could email for more advice. He’d spent time as an instructor at tech school years before and loves that stuff. Would’ve made a great teacher or guidance counselor.)

      • Thinking says:

        With acting you do need a skill-set and charisma.

        The only thing is that charisma is sometimes a bit subjective.

        I feel Meryl Steep’s daughter her charisma and a good skill-set, but for whatever reason she’s not hit it as big as Gwyneth or Kate Hudson. At that stratospheric level of fame, I think you do get weeded out a bit.

    • Sue E Generis says:

      See: Bush, Trump et. al

  5. girl_ninja says:

    I’m just over rich privileged women not dealing with the upper hand they were dealt. Just shut up already.

  6. AnneL says:

    The funny thing is I don’t think she does look just like her mother. One of Goldie Hawn’s signature features is her enormous eyes. Kate’s eyes are kind of small. The resemblance to her mother is there, but without the big eyes, it’s kind of subtle IMO.

    But yes, she got where she is because of Nepotism. She’s a good actress and seems like a good egg, but she needs to see that.

    I kind of agree with her on Cancel Culture. Some young people probably are a little afraid to speak. Yes, they should be aware and think before they talk. But there is room for nuance and I’m afraid that art is being lost a little.

    • sparrow says:

      I agree. I don’t think they look alike.

    • BaronSamedi says:

      Agreed. I think she looks nothing like her mother except they are both very, very beautiful. And interesting that this is not part of the conversation too. Sure, she had all the legs up and connections and whatever. But she also looks what she looks like. Of course directors are going to cast her since she can back it up with charisma and that ‘it factor’ you either have or don’t.

      She has pretty privilege like they all do. That’s what Hollywood is built. I am a little tired of people acting like beautiful people getting parts in the beautiful people industry was EVER about merits and not about looks, looks, looks and connections.

      The whole business is a sham. Why is that Kate Hudson’s fault and why do we expect women like her to solve it?!

      • sparrow says:

        Totally agree. It’s who you know as much as what you know in many areas of life. I don’t think she has the soft pixie face of her mum. I don’t think she’s as good looking as her mum – she always looks severe to me. But she is good looking and it helps.

    • Sue E Generis says:

      I think she resembles her mother more in personality – at least when she just started out. The whole sunny blonde persona. BTW, she seems to think she would have succeeded on her own. Has anyone seen her childhood picks? Without plastic surgery there is no way she would ever have gotten near Hollywood.

      • wellbetterspringa says:

        Of course Nepotism helped her career, she does resemble her mother in many ways, she is very attractive and consistently plays the same role, over and over. The bohemian, silly, eccentric girl. She was perfect in the glass onion, an aging supermodel who thinks they are still relevant and jealous of the younger women. I love how they showed her tiny tummy and small roll above her bikini top. It was actually very real. I’m glad that she can make fun of her self. She seems harmless enough. Tho I question her choice of having multiple children with multiple baby daddies…but that might be her thing and everyone is cool with it.

    • Fabiola says:

      I don’t think she likes anything la a lot like Goldie either. The eyes are complete different.

  7. Ameerah M says:

    She’s right about it being more prevalent in business. I mean, if you have worked in Corp. America who hasn’t wondered why someone’s child who knows nothing is a manager or is in a position they are wholly unqualified for and only have because they are the boss’ kid. Or nephew. The thing that makes people irritated about nepotism is when people try to deny the leg up or privilege they have. Sure you may have had to prove yourself in the role. But you also had an “in” to get into the room to even be cast in said role. As someone who acted for a decade I can say that is half the battle right there.

  8. ME says:

    Why can’t these people just admit they won at life? They got lucky. It’s not always about “hard work”. That’s like a White person telling a POC, if you work hard, you’ll make it just like me ! Umm no. You have advantages that I don’t. Just admit it. I can work even harder than you, but never get that promotion honey.

    • Fabiola says:

      That’s an awful way to think. I would never tell my child that they can’t make it as far as a white person can. If you work hard you can make it . Some people are luckier than others but just because you’re a POC doesn’t mean you can’t shoot for the stars and succeed.

  9. Jais says:

    Lordy, they just can’t admit the nepo-privilege. You have it. Ain’t no one saying you can’t be a nepo, work hard and have talent. Some do some don’t. Big deal. Just admit it and move on. Better yet, become a producer or a talent scout and hire unknowns. The canceling part was good though.

  10. Sandra says:

    Oh, please! There’s not just her Oscar winning mom and famous stepdad. Think of all the connections they have in Hollywood. She probably grew up/socialized with the children of celebrities who became actors, directors, movers and shakers in Hollywood. And I’m sure there were celebrity friends of her parents that visited and saw cute little Kate as family. Wasn’t Steven Spielberg Gwyneth Paltrow’s godfather or something?

    • Coco says:

      Yes Steven Spielberg Gwyneth Paltrow’s godfather .

    • sparrow says:

      Was she supposed to be barred from seeing her parents’ friends and their kids because it could be seen as nepotism down the line? We all mix in our parents’ circles. We all benefit from people our parents know. It doesn’t surprise me one bit that Spielberg has GP as a goddaughter. This is their circle. Like it doesn’t surprise me that my partner has lawyers as his godmother and father. That’s his circle. Scientists in my family.

      • Mel says:

        You really want to die on the nepo hill? No one is saying she should have avoided anything or anyone but again, don’t act like you don’t really get the leg up you received that it put you ahead of people who are just as talented or more talented than you. Yes, you can say the same thing about people who just get out of school and get managerial positions based on who they’re related to and they may or may not be capable. They can be as incompetent as anything but as long as they went to school with Muffy or Biff or Mommy and Daddy can make a call they’ll never be unemployed. That really and truly sucks.

  11. Normades says:

    Transparent cut out dress is unflattering even on woman with a banging body.
    Otherwise wrong answer Kate.

  12. Hello Kitty says:

    She may not be where she is without her parents but she was absolutely enchanting in Almost Famous her breakout movie sooo … 🤷🏻‍♀️

    • NotSoSocialB says:

      That was such a fantastic film.

    • sparrow says:

      I know. Why do we bring the world down on her head for being the daughter of her parents. She has the talent. Yes, she got the foot in the door that equally talented yet unheard of/poorer kids didn’t get, but this industry works on ability (and looks). She seems to have the longevity only good skills could achieve. She’d have been dust years ago if she were hopeless. I think she’s a far better actor than either of her parents.

      Someone like Cindy Crawford’s daughter pisses me off more. As does Lila Moss. Fashion really does rely on looks and attitude, and neither of them has it; I’m sick of seeing them on covers and campaigns when they don’t deserve it.

    • Thinking says:

      Even though she benefits from nepotism, she probably has or had to compete with other nepo-babies.

      I could see Gwyneth vying for some of the same roles as her (at that time).

      So even with the world of lots of nepo-babies, she still has to compete with other people and only one person gets that role.

  13. Eggbert says:

    I feel like she’s the first celebrity I’ve heard of to flat out state that awful people should be canceled. That was refreshing. But her answer on nepotism was definitely lacking. Ugh.

  14. Eleonor says:

    I quote the model Ano Ya (sorry for the misspell) reply to Lily Rose Deep
    “I will see some of you privilege kids stress about not booking a job because of the impact of your career while there are those of us who stress because we don’t know if we’ll be able to take care of our parents this months or put our siblings through school…I know you work hard and have your struggles like the rest of us, but goddamn if you only knew the hell we go through to stand in the same room that you were born in.”

  15. NotSoSocialB says:

    She looks less like her mom, and more like her dad, IMO. Anyone recall “The Hudson Brothers Show” from the 70s?

  16. sparrow says:

    Nepotism in an industry like film and TV must be hard to avoid. She is the daughter of famous film actors. She can’t avoid it. What is she to do? Even if she went to classes or got a degree in it, would it stop the criticism? I doubt it. People would say she was capable of doing her studies because she’s rich off the back of her parents. Or they’d say she got on the course because of her parents’ fame. The financial security of her life must be nice, but dragging around the baggage must be as bad as it is good. Also, like she says, what if she had failed? So much publicity.

  17. og bella says:

    Nepotism is the way of the world. It’s rarely about what you know but rather WHO you know. It’s in every industry including public sector.

    • sparrow says:

      Agreed. The world is unfair. She’d always be seen as using her family’s wealth throughout her life, whatever direction she chose. And what about the factor of talent running through families? Perhaps she was born with the talent for her career as well as a silver spoon in her mouth; it can be both.

  18. Beaner says:

    Like I work in the field of engineering and industry and I see kids get work terms all the time because Of family connections… honestly it happens in the highly technically skilled world as a major advantage so it is what it is….

    • Torttu says:

      The difference is engineering or law or medicine are hard enough to get to, but getting to be a movie star is like being plucked to be a Mars astronaut, statistically, if I may exaggerate a bit just to make a point. “Well, other families are all plumbers, we are all movie stars, not a big deal.” Oh? Ok.

  19. Silent Star says:

    I find it a bit weird that people are calling out entertainers and models for nepotism when it exists in practically every business and profession. There are tons of people all around us who have been handed opportunity or benefited from family contacts in all kinds of industries.

    I also think there’s nothing wrong with taking care of your family and helping them to succeed.

    What I do think is wrong though is when people refuse to recognize their unearned privilege and think their success is solely based on how special they are.

  20. SJ says:

    Shady Fabletics shows me who Kate Hudson is.

  21. Lens says:

    Well her comment about how Goldie and Kurt didn’t go up to Cameron Crowe and make him hire her was tone deaf as her background was obvious a positive for him. It got extra publicity for the movie because people are simply interested in children of celebrities. But I’ll have to agree when she says if you kill it and work hard it doesn’t matter in the end. I think of nepo babies who have siblings (like Kate) in the business and their siblings aren’t as successful or known. I remember Jamie Lee Curtis’ twin sister actually started out on show business at the same time and who has heard of her? And she was the prettier one (my opinion!)

    • Thinking says:

      Julia Robert’s overtook her brother in terms of success and fame. He was the successful one first. But she has such undeniable star quality none of us would bother arguing whether connections her brother might have had access to gave her a leg up. I honestly have no idea if it did. And if someone told me it helped I probably wouldn’t care — I’d still watch Notting Hill.

  22. Thinking says:

    She didn’t say others shouldn’t or wouldn’t care. She just said she didn’t care where the other person was coming from in a business meeting if they were good at what they do.

    When I saw the full sentence, it sounded like she was talking less about herself and more about what she thinks when she sees another nepo-baby in a meeting. Clearly, she meets a lot of other nepo-babies everywhere she goes.

    The full sentence makes a big difference in how I perceived her quote.

  23. Thinking says:

    She’s starred in a couple of really bad movies. There was that one really bad movie with Dane Cook (“My Best Friend’s Girl). Just saw it on Netflix. Omg, so bad. I wince thinking about it.

    Her nepotism has helped her to star in a few good films here and there, but there are times I’ve also wondered why an already famous nepo-baby is starring in such a bad film. In instances like that I have wondered what kind of hard times a nepo-baby has fallen into to get the opportunity to star in such a terrible movie.

  24. Mothra says:


  25. Abby says:

    You know it’s bad when even a well-established nepo actress admits there used to be less nepo babies when she was younger…
    It feels like nowadays everyone is somehow related to someone in the entertainment industry

    • Thinking says:

      I think there were other nepo-babies in the 90s but the nepotism connection wasn’t stressed as much.

      Bridget Fonda, Mira Sorvino, Sofia Coppola, etc are all related to famous people.

      Even Julia Roberts had a connection through Eric Roberts. She’s not a nepo-baby born to famous parents, but she probably had a way to get through the system through her brother.

      I think maybe the big difference between then and now is that some of the nepo-babies from the 90s had or have very good charisma so you don’t care that the some of them had distinct advantages. Julia Roberts has such obvious charisma I’m not going to bother to care that her brother could have possibly helped her out a bit.

      When I look at someone like Brooklyn Beckham in the Gen-Z category, however, I’m a little stunned someone could be born that talentless.