Black Panther’s Michaela Coel Drops F-Bomb While Calling Out Nepo Babies But Also Shares A Diplomatic Thought

Aneka in Black Panther 2
(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

The nepo baby controversy has been raging on for some time now, as many seem to have strong opinions on those who are related to well-known individuals. The biggest point of contention, in terms of the entertainment industry, revolves around the fact that said people have a leg-up compared to others trying to break into the business. A number of people haven’t minced words when weighing in on the discussion, and that now includes Michaela Coel. The Black Panther: Wakana Forever star dropped an F-bomb while calling out those who benefit from nepotism. However, she also followed that up with a diplomatic thought. 

Like many stars in Hollywood, Michaela Coel had to put in the work in order to claim her spot in the industry. She’s certainly done that over the years by creating acclaimed TV shows like Chewing Gum and I May Destroy You. Of course, she’s also landed movie roles in the aforementioned Marvel film, Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Been So Long. It pretty much goes without saying that Coel has been booked and busy, and it would appear that as she continues to be, she aims not to think about nepotism: 

You know, [nepotism] is 100 per cent there and present but I don’t think it benefits a creator to think about it too much. And it certainly doesn’t benefit me because it just makes me angry.

Nepotism is a concept that’s existed for years now and is very prevalent in Hollywood. As the Emmy-winning actress told the Evening Standard, it’s always there, so it’s probably best not to dwell on it. And based on the way she goes on to describe the practice, it’s probably a good thing that she doesn’t allow herself to get too caught up in it. The 35-year-old went on to chastise nepo babies who don’t understand the privilege they possess while also explaining how their positions affect those who are struggling to make it: 

If people don’t believe that [being] the child of someone, or the niece or nephew of someone, whatever [that relationship may be] , has anything to do with their achievements, then that is hilarious. I find that very funny — that is a cute way for you to live, you carry on like that. The rest of us, we can’t think about this too much, because it’s going to make us feel defeated. You have to say, like, ‘fuck that system. I’m going to figure out a way to do my own thing’, and you can stand adjacent to those people and know how you got there.

The nepo babies in question have had varied thoughts on the matter. Brian Williams’ daughter, M3GAN star Allison Williams, gave an honest take, in which she fully acknowledged her status and the optics of if. Kaia Gerber, the daughter of Cindy Crawford, didn’t deny the advantages she’s been privy to as well. “OG Nepo Baby” Jamie Lee Curtis called out the discussion for being hurtful, though stated that she is fully aware of the opportunities she’s been afforded. Tom Hanks recently cast his son in his latest movie, A Man Called Otto, and defended the decision by noting that the entertainment industry is a “family business.”

There’s definitely a lot of nuance that comes with this fluid discussion, and Michaela Coel seems to know that as well. During the same interview, she made an honest point about why her stance on the matter could change: 

…the other truth is if I continue on my path and have children I’m sure my opinion will evolve somehow.

There’s a fair chance that she’ll have little ones of her own one day, and they may indeed want to follow in her famous footsteps when they come of age. Decades from now, if that all comes to pass, it'd be interesting to hear what the British star would have to say on the nepo baby debate at that point. What can be said with certainty right now, though, is that all who share thoughts on matter are entitled to their opinions. 

You can check out Michaela Coel in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever by streaming it with a Disney+ subscription.

Erik Swann
Senior Content Producer

Erik Swann is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He began working with the publication in 2020 when he was hired as Weekend Editor. Today, he continues to write, edit and handle social media responsibilities over the weekend. On weekdays, he also writes TV and movie-related news and helps out with editing and social media as needed. He graduated from the University of Maryland, where he received a degree in Broadcast Journalism. After shifting into multi-platform journalism, he started working as a freelance writer and editor before joining CB. Covers superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. He eats more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.