Why Chet Hanks Keeps Overshadowing Tom Hanks

The 77th Golden Globe Awards ceremony was a family affair for Tom Hanks. The honoree's wife, Rita Wilson (who was miserable in the hours leading up to the award show), as well as their children — Chet, Colin, Truman, and Elizabeth — were all in attendance. Team Hanks showed up to support the 63-year-old actor receiving the Cecil B. Demille Award, an honorary Golden Globe that celebrates "outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment" (via CNBC). In his heartfelt acceptance speech, Hanks thanked his family members for all of their support over the years. The actor even gave a special shout-out to his "five kids" (he included his son Colin's wife in the roundup), calling them "braver and stronger and wiser than their old man." 

While four out of the five of Hanks' "kids" tend to fly under the radar and do their own thing, Chet Hanks has a tendency to steal the spotlight from his pops — and not for the right reasons. From a bizarre moment on the Golden Globes red carpet to defending his use of racial slurs, here's why Chet Hanks keeps overshadowing Tom Hanks.

Chet Hanks debuted a bizarre accent on his dad's big night

Despite the fact that he had just won a lifetime achievement award, Tom Hanks wasn't the only family member making big headlines the day after the Golden Globes. Chet Hanks was also in the news for his pre-show antics. Seemingly unprompted, the 29-year-old took to Instagram to post a video of himself speaking what sounds like Jamaican patois on the red carpet. Hanks captioned the post, "BIG UP FIMI WHOL FAMILY SOON COM AT DI AWARDS NA SEEN. CHUNE IN." 

Saying that the video wasn't well-received would be an understatement, and Chet (aka Chet Haze) was accused by some of cultural appropriation. Twitter had a lot to say about it too. "Why does Chet Hanks continue to embarrass his father like this? What did Tom Hanks do to deserve this messssss?! Whew chileeeeee," one critic tweeted.

It's unclear if Chet's parents were actually concerned about the clip. His down-to-earth dad hasn't said anything publicly to date, and Rita called it "the best laugh of the night."

Chet Hanks is in no mood to apologize

In the midst of being accused of cultural appropriation, you would think that Chet would try to lay low and wait for everything to blow over, right? Wrong. On Jan. 6, 2020, Hanks shared a screenshot on Instagram of a CNN article with the headline: "Tom Hanks' son Chet is filmed speaking patois at the Golden Globes—and the Internet is baffled." He captioned the shot, "Average citizens: damn this is scary I can't believe we're on the verge of WW3 let me check the news smh @CNN."

And if you thought that social media jab at the press would be his final word on the matter, you thought wrong again. Later the same day, he posted yet another video on Instagram speaking, you guessed it, patois (well, his version of it at least.) Hanks captioned the video, "RESPECT TO MI #ISLAND MASSIVE", adding a row of Jamaican flags emojis to the post. Judging from this behavior, don't expect an apology from Chet anytime soon.

While the Golden Globes patois controversy is the most recent instance of Tom Hanks' son stealing the spotlight, it's not the first time Chet's antics have landed him in hot water.

Chet Hanks is no stranger to controversy

Back in 2015, Chet Hanks was going by his rap name, Chet Haze, and defending his use of racial slurs. In a since-deleted Instagram post, the aspiring rapper defended his decision to use the n-word. "I don't accept society getting to decide what ANYBODY can or can't say," he said, in part. "We have also reached a point where the word can no longer have a negative connotation if we choose. And who is to say only black people can use it?" 

Needless to say, Hanks faced quite a bit of backlash. One Twitter user wrote: "Reading Chet Hanks' response as to why he can say the N-word has left me with no words. His ignorance and blatant stupidity is mind boggling." Another tweeted, "Chet Haze is the main example of white privilege taking black culture for themselves. He's worse than Iggy Azalea."

Three years after the incident, Hanks accepted some responsibility for his words — kind of. On an episode of The Red Pill podcast in 2018, Hanks blamed his rant on drug use and trolling. "I thought that crazy antics and just wilding the f**k out and just doing some crazy s**t was gonna spark my career," he told host Van Lathan. Well, that plan didn't really pan out, did it?

Chet Hanks feels like he's living in Tom Hanks' shadow

Over the years — in between controversies — Chet Hanks has said things that point toward a personal struggle with living in his father's shadow. In November 2019, he talked to TooFab about the pros and cons of having Tom Hanks as a dad. "I'm not complaining about it, you know, it is what it is and it's cool," he told the outlet. "I love my dad, he's a great man, he's a great actor, so I'm in a good position, you know what I mean?" However, being in a "good position" comes with its pitfalls. "If I invented a cure for cancer tomorrow, in the article it would say, 'Tom Hanks' Son Invents The Cure For Cancer,' you know what I mean? It's inevitable."

In May 2018, Chet told People, "Anyone who was born in some kind of shadow of success of their father or mother can share this journey of a growing process." While it seems Hanks might have a lot of growing to do yet, he told the outlet that he doesn't plan on backing away from the challenge. "This is who I am, and I'm not running away from it," he said. Here's hoping that Chet Hanks figures out a way to shine in his own right.