Ben Stiller Is Facing Backlash For His Comments About Nepotism In Hollywood

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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.

Ben Stiller speaking on stage in a suit and tie
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.

  Deadline / Via deadline.com
Deadline / Via deadline.com

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; and Owen King is the son of horror author Stephen King.

Stephen and Destry Spielberg smiling for photos at an event
Toni Anne Barson / FilmMagic

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

Owen and Stephen King
Astrid Stawiarz / Getty Images

Shortly after, film producer Franklin Leonard pointed out how this sums up the nepotistic nature of Hollywood, saying, "Hollywood's a meritocracy, right?"

Meritocracy basically means you succeed based on how

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

@franklinleonard / Via Twitter: @franklinleonard

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."

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Franklin replied, saying it's still "important to acknowledge those paths."

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

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They then went back and forth a few more times:

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People were not happy with Ben's comments:

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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."

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

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