Without nepotism, the world would have never known the brilliant acting career of Jaden Smith, the enduring wit and music of Paris Hilton, or the oiled-up butthole of Kim Kardashian. It's an understood tradition for powerful people to find jobs for their relatives, no matter how inappropriate the work might be. However, there are certain jobs that are too inappropriate, such as hiring your cousin to be topless in your new movie or getting your son to stand in on one of your fashion shoots while you grind your butt into his crotch.
And in case you think we just made up those examples ...
6Vince McMahon Creepily Exploits His Family on National Television for Two Decades
Ethan Miller/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Any discussion of creepy nepotism in pop culture has to start with legendary wrestling promoter, failed football promoter, and legendarily failed bodybuilding promoter Vince McMahon, who would no doubt want at least one of those three achievements carved into his headstone for all eternity.
Along with this picture.
McMahon has been casting his family members in prominent roles in the WWE for decades, and he selects each role with the surgical precision of a drunken shotgun blast. For starters, Stephanie, his daughter, has been sexually assaulted in enough wrestling storylines to fill an entire season of Law & Order: SVU.
From getting stripped in the ring ...
... to getting tackled to the ground and kissed by opponents while she thrashes helplessly ...
The story is scripted. The revulsion is real.
... and often being knocked unconscious so a series of things can be done to her that don't involve consent:
This is someone's fantasy; we're just scared to ask whose.
To be fair, it's not like Vince has singled out his daughter for this kind of treatment -- he also got his son, Shane, a job as a pro wrestler, despite the fact that Shane has the physical prowess of the Pillsbury Doughboy, and immediately spent every subsequent pay-per-view event trying to kill him. A typical Shane McMahon wrestling match involved the prince of the McMahon empire getting mutilated beyond belief in what looked more like a garbage truck collision than an athletic competition. Shane has been beaten with sticks, dropped off steel cages, thrown through panes of glass, and occasionally a Yahtzee-like combination of the three:
Being turned into a sex object or a cripple on national TV by your father would be a low point for any child, yet those aren't the worst things his family has had to endure. Not even close. That honor belongs to his wife, Linda, who was the last member of the McMahon family to become an on-air personality, though non-wrestling fans may know her as the woman who wasted $97 million on two failed Senate campaigns. Luckily, her time in the WWE had adequately prepared her for public humiliation.
Shown here, watching her husband mutate into a giant hot dog.
The story begins perhaps the only way it could, with Vince publicly admitting to cheating on Linda in a Howard Stern interview. This gave him the novel idea to write a big wrestling storyline wherein he cheats on his wife with WWE Diva and ludicrously attractive fitness model Trish Stratus. This is another way of saying that Vince scripted a series of televised events in which he got to ferociously make out with a supermodel in front of his wife, who in the storyline was in a coma.
Once again, that is Vince's wife in the background, pretending to be in a coma.
Vince heroically continued this storyline through the 1990s and well into the 2000s, making sure he never missed out on a chance to grope and tongue kiss the WWE's most attractive young women right in front of his wife on national television.
5Gary Gygax Uses His Daughter as a Sultry Dungeons & Dragons Model
"Sex Sells" is a popular saying in advertising, but difficult to apply when you're trying to sell arguably the least sexy thing that has ever been created. That was the task undertaken by Gary Gygax, one of the creators of Dungeons & Dragons. Back in 1977, no one had heard of this delightful combination of board game and make-believe, so Gygax had to do everything in his power to get the public's attention. Would he appeal to their imaginations? Their sense of adventure? Their fear of outdoor hobbies? Or would he dress his 16-year-old daughter as a casino waitress and snap pictures of her perving out over a Monster Manual?
You already know what he picked. It was that last thing.
"Hey, big fella. Want me to read you a passage from Owlbear?"
Monster Manual, the book young Miss Gygax is holding as if it contains Aphrodite's secrets of the sensual universe, is an encyclopedia of creature statistics. Basically, charts and numbers describing the attributes of fantasy monsters, otherwise known as "the exact opposite of sexy." It's several hundred pages of boner-quenching math and unintentionally hilarious illustrations.
Wizards of the Coast
It would be decades before people attracted to this found acceptance online.
To make matters worse, his marketing team, in fonts too ugly for an apartment community newsletter, complemented images of his little girl's barely covered body with suggestive slogans, like "What's in Demand Today" and "Where the Action Is," which, in retrospect, seems more like a question.
"It's probably around the corner somewhere. But while you're here, why not buy some dragon bullshit?"