Few have benefited more from being a beloved celebrity’s son than Chet Hanks. The child of Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, and the father “White Boy Summer,” Chet Hanks aka Chet Haze has ridden the wave of his parents’ popularity (and vast fortune) for nigh on 31 years. Last year, though, he went from occasional embarrassment to family spokesperson when he updated the world on his folks’ COVID diagnosis—only to revert to embarrassment this summer, with the advent of White Boy Summer and his anti-vaxx Instagram post. And let’s not forget the domestic abuse allegations.
But while we’ve gotten a lot of Hanks, his impersonation of Jamaican patois, and his regrettable fashion line, Andrew Callaghan of Channel 5 News and formerly of All Gas No Breaks, finally lets the man clear the air on White Boy Summer (“It’s white boys that are tuned into Black girl magic”), accusations of cultural appropriation (“Jamaican people showed me the most love”), and his celebrity upbringing (“I don’t know if I’m the richest broke kid or the poorest rich kid”).
Callaghan always lets his guests go off, comforting them enough to let their true selves emerge. Hanks is no different. He’s not concerned with criticisms from “social justice warriors” because there are more people that “fuck with what the fuck [he’s] saying than there’s people that are angry about what the fuck y’all talking about.” (Though, he does seem to think Callaghan’s own attempt at Jamaican patois is an affront to what Hanks bring to the table). While other stars, like say a Jamie Lee Curtis, feel the need to work extra hard to prove their worth and step outside the shadow of their family name, Hanks seems to truly believe that he’s already got it—whatever “it” is.
Growing up as a celebrity was really a “double-edged sword,” says Hanks. The son of two-time Academy Award winner Tom Hanks says that life wasn’t the opportunity cornucopia you’d think. “People assume that I just live this super privileged life, like Richie Rich, and that just wasn’t the case. It was actually the opposite. They never gave me an allowance.” Sounds tough—though he does admit that he never would’ve succeeded on social media without his parents, so at least he has a modicum of self-awareness.