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Guy Uncomfortable After Sister-In-Law Calls Him A ‘Nepotism Baby’ Since He Works For His Dad

Man and woman arguing
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We’ve probably all known someone who seemed to have everything handed to them in their life.

And when they get something we were really hoping for and working for, it can be hard to swallow, agreed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor Legacy-Ad8754 was having a nice time at the New Year’s Eve party with his family.

But when his sister-in-law called him out on his privilege, the Original Poster (OP) was not having it.

He asked the sub:

“AITA for taking a ‘nepotism baby’ joke too personally?”

The OP wasn’t interested in a conversation happening on New Year’s Eve.

“At our family NYE get-together, the topic of nepotism came up. I’m assuming it’s something on the top of some people’s minds as a result of the ‘New York Magazine’ cover.”

“I (27 Male) had seen some buzz about it online, but I can’t say I had given it much thought myself. The number of celebrities I care about is a small one and there’s a good chance I don’t know anything about their family tree.”

“Because of a lack of interest, I didn’t participate in the initial conversation. The topic was brought up my by brother-in-law’s (BIL’s) wife, and I listened for a while before turning to a conversation with my husband.”

The OP was pulled into the conversation.

“After a few minutes, my BIL’s wife said something along the lines of, ‘I want to know OP’s thoughts on this since he’s a nepo baby.'”

“It was said somewhat jokingly, but I was still confused, so I asked her to explain.”

“She said that since I work for my dad and was basically handed a job when I graduated college that I was technically a nepotism baby.”

“I replied, saying it was a little ridiculous to compare me to actors and models who were making millions from their parents’ names while my husband and I were just regular people working to support ourselves and each other.”

“She said it was beyond just ‘regular people working to support themselves’ when I made [$$$] in a year.”

The OP felt the conversation had gone too far.

“I thought the whole thing was wildly inappropriate to be discussing in front of all these people, and I told her so.”

“She said it was just a joke and I was overreacting.”

“The atmosphere was obviously a little tense following that, and she all but forced my BIL out the door before the night was even over.”

“There were mixed feelings after she left with some people saying I took the joke too personally and other people saying she went too far.”


Fellow Redditors weighed in:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

Some understood how frustrating it was for a family member to stir up family drama.

“Why did she have to ‘call out’ anyone? Like if I’m at a party with friends relaxing, I shouldn’t be getting called out for anything.” – Strainedgoals

“That conversation could have continued without directly bringing him into it. Even if he was the only one she knew of, there was no real reason she needed to call him out by name and push the question after he didn’t want to talk about it.”

“Her pulling the ‘it’s just a joke’ card after he said it was inappropriate to push the issue in such a big group (which it is) is an AH move. I don’t think he’s an AH for not wanting his finances and job discussed in detail.” – AshesandCinder

“She probably just wanted to make him look bad in front of friends. And she probably is jealous. She brought up the topic with OP on her mind, and when he didn’t engage, she decided to pull him in.” – azzaro253

“She also shared his salary, which is super rude.” – majolie1970

“They just spent the night talking about how ‘those people’ suck and don’t deserve what they have, and then she turned and pointed at OP and said, ‘You’re one of those people who we all just established we hate and don’t think deserve anything they have.'” – Noodlefanboi

“She was clearly trying to stir the pot, come on. OP was staying out of the conversation and she went out of her way to put attention on him to embarrass him. Let’s not be naive here and pretend the SIL wanted to hear from the nepo baby for research purposes.”

“It would be like if I had a family member who cheated on his wife and got a divorce because of that, and at a family gathering where we’re discussing cheating celebrities and he’s staying out of the conversation, someone went, ‘I’d love to hear so-and-so’s opinion on this since he’s a cheater.’ Technically true, but still clearly malicious, confrontational, and inappropriate.” – Winter_Ad_9922

“It’s just stupid when the kids have grown up in the business. Sure, sometimes the kids have no clue about the business or the industry, but most of the so-called ‘nepo babies’ that I’ve ever met have probably been working in the family business since they could see over the front counter or handle the required equipment.”

“We have kids that may or may not return to the family business. They’ve been working alongside us since the age of three or four, which means by the time they hit college age, they’ll have almost 20 years of entry-level or higher experience in the business. That absolutely means something.”

“I also have been known to hire the kids of other business owners, we have an office worker who has been filing paperwork since the age of 12. She’s obviously at a higher level than the employee who got their first job at 20/21.” – Independent-Face-959

Others pointed out that a family business still counted as a less extreme form of nepotism.

“I think the actual problem is that you’re not understanding that nepotism can have nuances.”

“Hiring/promoting someone, because they’re a family member, is always nepotism but that doesn’t mean all such situations are the same and have the same moral weight.”

“If part of your reason for a hiring decision is your familial relationship to the other person it’s nepotism, that’s just what the word means.” – majere616

“Every family member who works on the farm or in other small family businesses: automatic nepo baby.”

“I honestly think there should be no shame to receive a privilege.”

“However, the recipients should recognize that not having to battle 100 other applicants for a job is a huge leg up even if the job itself is just meh. Many people will give up a lot just to have a job.” – OddEpisode

“ESH. She was rude but also right. I was never able to get a job in my field after college while classmates who got those jobs had no problems and are doing a lot better than me financially, because of their connections.”

“So yeah, OP, you benefitted from nepotism even if you’re not as rich as Elon Musk or Brad Pitt.” – vcraftauthor

“Why is she out of line? They were already discussing nepo babies, and OP is one. Asking him what he thinks isn’t out of line. If you don’t like being confronted with living your life in easy mode, maybe stop doing that.” – OrneryDandelion

“I agree that it is nepotism and that OP should recognize it but the way it was said, the moment was completely inappropriate and passive-aggressive.”

“I would have taken it badly too and have a difficult time being honest with my situation when put under the spotlight like that without a way to get out gracefully.”

“Small ESH but to me, the sister-in-law is the biggest in all that.” – Gobadorgosleep

“ESH. Your BIL’s wife made a tasteless comment, and she made herself the a**hole by pushing the conversation even more when you were against the comment and took offense to it. The conversation became very inappropriate once you showed how uncomfortable you were.”

“On the other hand, you are failing to see that you are a nepotism baby.”

“Your family started a business and you got to experience an easier time getting your first job out of college because of it. It is very possible that you did a lot of hard work to get yourself that job and it is also possible that someone else just as qualified for the same job got passed over because your family owns the company.”

“You did nothing wrong by taking the job and your family has not done anything wrong by giving you the job. But you should recognize that you were lucky to receive a privilege in life that most people don’t get to have.”

“I understand that people may not like the term and, yes, the term itself is usually used in a negative way.”

“I believe the OP is in the wrong by not seeing how nepotism does apply to them. They seem to generally think nepotism happens with the rich and famous only, and I want to make OP aware that the small business and hard-working people can fall into nepotism, as well.” – 808Gemma

Like the OP’s family, the subReddit was divided about the sister-in-law’s behavior and the OP’s reaction to the conversation.

Some took issue with the sister-in-law calling out the OP and assumed she was either jealous of the OP or simply did not like him.

But others pointed out that, though the OP wasn’t a celebrity, his work situation was still a form of nepotism. They argued that if the OP was feeling insulted by the conversation, he might need to think about what that says about him.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives in North Chicago, where she works as a poet, freelance writer, and editor. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University, and her BA in English from Indiana University South Bend. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, the James Franco Review, Thank You for Swallowing, and elsewhere; and her essays and book reviews have appeared with Memoir Mixtapes, The Rumpus, BookPage, and Motherly, among others. When she's not reading and writing, she's in her garden or spending time with her family. For more, visit