America’s agreed upon dream father Tom Hanks has got a problem with his son. Chet Hanks has had run-ins with controversy off and on for years. Proclaimed Tom’s wild child there is no shortage of sound bite from Chet that would be embarrassing for any father. His level of proudness when it comes to defending his use of the “N-word”, and now his bizarre hijacking of the Jamaican culture while on the red carpet is only one of few reasons Chet needs to take a backseat on being in the public eye.
How do you come from Beverly Hills but have an accent like you’ve lived in Atlanta your entire life? That is one question someone needs to throw out at Chet Hanks. There is no denying Hip Hop culture is the new wave. It is mainstream and millions identify with blackness and all the “cool” things that come with that. But, unlike people of color Chet Hanks can just code switch and everyone will go with it. This is why cultural appropriation is an issue. Countless celebrities like Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, and Selena Gomez will have their “black phases” which they use to their advantage to appear more mature, but then return to their actual identities after they grow tired of it. Well, black entertainers can’t stop being black so keep that in mind people like Chet Hanks.
Tom Hanks should not be to blame. There is no way he condones this type of behavior, but when you are a grown man there is only so much your old man can do. What is clear though is the fact that his siblings are polar opposite. Is this clinging to black culture just an escape for Chet? Did he feel like the black sheep, no pun intended of the family? Growing up with such a celebrated father like Tom Hanks it can be hard for people to see you for you. He could feel as if he’s been living in his father’s shadow since birth, and this could be his way of breaking from it. His methods don’t seem to be working too well. If you look at Denzel Washington’s son and the way he has navigated his career, it is obvious he possesses the security that Chet does not. His work with Spike Lee in The Black Klansman got him nominated for his first Oscar, like son like father.
But, every relationship is complex. We don’t really understand what it is like to be under a microscope your whole life. Not being able to craft your own path without people asking about your parents before they pay attention to you. With Chet, most try to sympathize, but after a while it just becomes tiring. With his history, it’s unclear how if he dared to join the acting ranks of his father, whether he would succeed. He also has a past of creating music, more specifically rapping but that doesn’t seem like a serious career option.