The term “nepo baby” is a shortened form of “nepotism baby,” an often derisive term used to refer to children of highly influential or famous figures who strike out on their own careers, especially within the entertainment industry. While a “nepo baby” may have some talent of their own, their success is often attributed by the public to the connections forged and influence wielded by their parent (or parents). Of course, such practices have always shaped many industries, but the topic of nepo babies in fields of entertainment has come into vogue of late during a time of extreme inequality and increased exposure to celebrity culture via social media. It appears self-evident that those fortunate enough to have a parent already connected to the industry often have an easier time jumpstarting a career, but whether that leg up on their peers tarnishes their work is a value judgment that many consider best left to individuals.
As for Mica Burton, she’s happy to work alongside her father but wants to be recognized as her unique self. Prior to her role on “Star Trek: Picard,” Burton was best known for her cosplaying, as well as for playing characters on “Dungeons and Dragons” web shows. “My whole purpose in my career when I started out in the geek world was to not be LeVar Burton’s daughter,” Burton explained to IndieWire. “I wanted to be Mica Burton. Mica Burton the gamer, Mica Burton the cosplayer, Mica Burton the host. But now being able to feel comfortable having this acting role with him as I pursue my acting career to its fullest, it’s just so freaking cool. The universe really gave us a present. I’m a happy little nerd.”