Just call him the black sheep: how Tom Hanks’ son Chet has ruffled feathers yet again

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The son of Tom and Rita Wilson, Chet Hanks, is facing backlash for comments he made on Instagram earlier this month. (CREDIT: Instagram @chethanx / Gallo Images / Getty Images)
The son of Tom and Rita Wilson, Chet Hanks, is facing backlash for comments he made on Instagram earlier this month. (CREDIT: Instagram @chethanx / Gallo Images / Getty Images)

His dad may be one of Hollywood’s nicest guys with a near-spotless reputation – but his son is another matter altogether.

Chet Hanks, son of Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson (both 64), seems to love nothing more than stirring up a hornet’s nest of controversy. 

The 30-year-old first came under fire in 2015 when he used the N-word in the caption of a pic and proceeded to insist he was allowed to use the slur because he identified with black culture. 

He used the offensive term with the “black friends who get me”, he said.

“The way I see it, it’s a word that unifies the culture of hip-hop across all races, which is actually kind of a beautiful thing.”

In January 2020, he raised eyebrows online after sharing footage of himself speaking with a faux Jamaican accent at the Golden Globes. The backlash was swift with many netizens accusing Chet of appropriating Jamaican culture. 

He apologised, claiming it was “all in good fun” – but now Chet is back stirring the anger pot again. 

Earlier this month he took to Instagram saying he's expecting "a white boy summer," putting his own spin on rapper Megan Thee Stallion’s Hot Girl Summer single.

“I just got this feeling man, that this summer is, it’s about to be a white boy summer,” he said via Instagram earlier this week. “Take it how you want. I’m talking about, you know, me, [singer] Jon B, [rapper] Jack Harlow-type white boy summer. Let me know if you guys can vibe with that and get ready, because I am.”

Chet later outlined some “rules and regs” for the summer ahead — but not everyone could see the actor’s vision. 

Chet’s father started trending on Twitter, with one viewer writing: “Are we sure that Chet Hanks is Tom and Rita’s biological offspring? Something’s just not adding up.”

“Chet Hanks is proof that you can do everything right in the world and kids will still embarrass TF outta you,” another said. 

Others noted that the phrase might give some people the wrong idea.

“‘White boy summer’ sounds like a threat, ngl,” read another tweet. “I don’t see how anyone hears that and not think it’s super racist-sounding.”

Not that Chet's bothered by the commotion.

He's doubling down and has parlayed the controversial clip into new collection of merchandise called "White Boy Summer."

His collection of hoodies, T-shirts, shorts, leggings, sweatpants and baseball caps all sport a Gothic-style font that some on Twitter have accused of looking "aggressively racist."

"Jesus. When I think of typefaces white people should avoid, anything remotely calligraphic/blackletter looking pops immediately to mind, especially if it's going to include the word 'White,'" one user tweeted. 

It seems drama won't stop following Chet around.

Recently news broke that he's suing his ex-girlfriend Kiana Parker after an altercation in January that left him bleeding.

News outlet TMZ released a video in which Chet is heard accusing Parker of "attacking" him with a knife while she's heard in the background saying, "You pushed me."

Chet is suing his ex for theft, assault, conversion and battery, according to court documents leaked online.

"The day after Chet Hanks confronted Kiana Parker about stealing money from his credit card, while Ms Parker was accompanied by a huge male carrying a gun, she viciously attacked Chet with a knife, which caused him to profusely bleed. It is all on video and the undisputed video tells the whole story. Her claims are completely false, fabricated and fictional," Chet's lawyer Marty Singer said in a statement.

Kiana's legal team told news outlet Page Six she was receiving medical care for injuries sustained and that she has been granted a restraining order against Chet.

The drama, it seems, has no end. 

Here’s what you need to know about the Tom and Rita’s wild child.

1. He’s in the family business

Like his father, mother and half-brother Colin Hanks (43), Chet is also an actor and studied theatre at Northwestern University in Illinois. 

From 2016 to 2018, he appeared in Showtime's Shameless as Charlie, the ex-boyfriend of Sierra Morton (Ruby Modine). He later joined the cast of Empire, playing aspiring rapper Blake in seasons four and five. More recently, he's appeared on Showtime's Your Honor and teamed up with his famous father in 2020's Greyhound.

Chet also has a passion for music.

In 2011 he released a homage to Wiz Khalifa's Black and Yellow inspired by the Northwestern’s colours (white and purple) under the stage name Chet Haze. He later teamed up with pal Drew Arthur, releasing two singles under the name FTRZ in 2018. The duo rebranded again two years later, becoming Something Out West.

Chet starred as rapper Blake Sterling (with Seraya
Chet starred as rapper Blake Sterling (with Serayah) on television series, Empire. (CREDIT: Gallo Images / Getty Images)

2. He’s candid about his battle with substance abuse

In September 2015, Chet – who admits he started using drugs at 16 – revealed he’d spent a few months in rehab and was "doing pretty damn good" as he continued on his path to sobriety. 

"A couple of months ago I was selling coke [and] doing coke until I couldn't even snort it up my nose anymore because it was so clogged. I even smoked crack," he said at the time. "If I can change, you can change. There’s a solution. It's been a long journey discovering who I am. Because [of] all the pressures that I've dealt with in my life – you know, being the son of my dad and everything. Just trying to find where I fit in."

His father told Entertainment Tonight that he was proud of his son for taking ownership of his mistakes. 

"As a parent, you love your kids unconditionally. You support them every step of the way," the Oscar winner said. "You got to applaud the bravery and honesty when it actually comes out of your own house."

Elizabeth Ann Hanks, Chet Hanks, Rita Wilson, Tom
Elizabeth Ann Hanks, Chet Hanks, Rita Wilson, Tom Hanks and Truman Hanks attend Rita's Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony in 2019. (CREDIT: Gallo Images / Getty Images)

3. He’s a father and says his daughter helped him kick the drugs

In April 2016, Chet and his ex-girlfriend, Tiffany Miles, welcomed a daughter, Michaiah, who he credits with helping him sober up. 

He admitted to Entertainment Tonight that although he knew he wasn't living right, he couldn't change his ways until something drastic like becoming a father happened. 

"It was the prospect of having a kid, and I knew that in nine months there's gonna be a baby here. That gave me the motivation to be like, 'OK, I've had my time now, and I need to move on’."

Last year he shared a heartfelt tribute to Michaiah’s mother amid the George Floyd protests plaguing the United States. Alongside a series of photos showing him standing in front of George Floyd's artwork, Chet wrote about how he was thankful for Tiffany, calling her "the mother of my child and a beautiful black woman."

Chet takes in an ice hockey match with ex-girlfrie
Chet takes in an ice hockey match with ex-girlfriend Tiffany Miles in New York, in 2015. (CREDIT: Gallo Images / Getty Images)

Sources: etonline.com, latimes.com, usmagazine.com, people.com, metro.co.uk, bestlifeonline.com, complex.com

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