maude apatow reading a book on a bed in a scene from the tv show euphoria

Eddy Chen/HBO Max (CC-BY)

Newsletter: What is a ‘nepotism baby?’

Plus: Ukraine disinformation, and a new Star Wars-related queer reaction meme.


Andrew Wyrich


Posted on Feb 25, 2022   Updated on Feb 25, 2022, 12:12 pm CST

Hey everyone! Andrew here. Welcome to the Friday edition of Internet Insider

There’s a lot to unpack today. First, with Russia invading Ukraine, we tracked down one particularly egregious example of misinformation swirling online so you don’t fall for it

Meanwhile, Tiffany Kelly, our culture editor, breaks down the “nepotism babies” discourse you probably saw on your timeline following the latest Euphoria episode. Plus, Tiffany selected her favorite meme of the week

Now let’s dive into the essential internet culture news. 



  • Fake: As Russian forces invade Ukraine, misinformation is spreading quickly. We dug around the web and found one example that immediately popped up: people are posting footage from the 2013 tactical shooter game ARMA 3 on social media and claiming that it is actually footage from Ukraine. Don’t fall for it
  • Culture: You can have whatever thoughts you want about the quality of the finale of the sequel series in Star Wars, but Gavia (our reporter covering geek culture and fandom) unpacked how one alien from The Rise of Skywalker has now become a queer reaction meme. The meme of Klaud, a slug-like alien that appears at the end of the film, has quickly picked up steam in fandom circles. 
  • Tech Dystopia: Don’t these stories of student’s having software track their every move while taking a test seem creepy? Well, a TikTok went viral this week after she showed that eproctoring software reported that she “stopped viewing” a test 28 times.


maude apatow reading a book on a bed in a scene from the tv show euphoria
Eddy Chen/HBO Max (CC-BY)

Why everyone was talking about ‘nepotism babies’ this week 

Last Sunday night, my Twitter feed became a sea of Euphoria reactions. This is usual for the HBO series, which has become a cultural phenomenon since season 2 premiered in early January.

But among all the memes—especially to the dance number—a discourse emerged about one of the lead actor’s parents. Maude Apatow, who plays Lexi Howard, is the daughter of director Judd Apatow and actress Leslie Mann. Many would guess this based on her last name alone. Judd Apatow became a household name after making popular comedy films in the early-2000s like Knocked Up and The 40-Year-Old Virgin

But not everyone is familiar with Apatow’s work. In a tweet, user meriemistired wrote, “Wait I just found out that the actress that plays Lexie (sic) is a nepotism baby omg 😭  her mom is Leslie Mann and her dad is a movie director lol,” along with two photos of the Apatow family.

The tweet received more than 2,000 quote tweets and dozens of replies from people who were angry that someone wouldn’t know about Apatow, or who would only refer to him as a “movie director.”

This reaction prompted the original poster to change their display name to “FUCK yall and the Apatow family btw.” (It has since been changed.) The discourse led to people once again talking about nepotism in the entertainment industry, and “I just found out [X] is a nepotism baby” became a copypasta meme. One example that saw many iterations: “i just found out jesus christ is a nepotism baby?” 

What did we learn from this days-long Twitter discourse? First, there are a lot of nepotism babies in Hollywood. Sorry if you thought a lot of these people got a job based on their talent.

Second, it’s OK to not know who Judd Apatow is, especially if you were too young to watch his films when they were released. And third, Maude Apatow absolutely killed it on last week’s episode—which saw her character’s controversial play performed in front of the whole school—and she deserves recognition for it without looping her parents in. But, yes, she is a nepotism baby. 

Tiffany Kelly


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The man accused of a mass shooting in Portland, Oregon reportedly commented on one of Andy Ngo’s YouTube videos in the past month, writing “This is why you arm yourselves folks.”

The Daily Dot put together 10 stories that explore the online communities and events that shaped us, from the dancing baby meme to the history of fanfic censorship. 

Meet the most decorated Black athlete in Winter Olympics History.*

*The Daily Dot may receive a commission in connection with purchases of products or services featured here.


A crossover meme that incorporates two big memes that dominated Twitter this week: Never ask a nepotism baby. 

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*First Published: Feb 25, 2022, 12:00 pm CST