Tom Hanks was honored with the Cecil B. DeMille Award at Sunday night's Golden Globe Awards

By Helen Murphy
January 07, 2020 11:57 AM
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Tom Hanks‘ son Chet Hanks is addressing a viral video that showed him speaking in a Jamaican Patois accent on the Golden Globe Awards red carpet.

On Sunday, the 29-year-old posted an Instagram video from the red carpet that showed him praising his dad before the legendary actor was honored with the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the ceremony. In the clip, Chet spoke Jamaican Patois, an English-based creole language that has West African influences.

“BIG UP FIMI WHOL FAMILY SOON COM AT DI AWARDS NA SEEN ? ? ?,” he captioned the post. “CHUNE IN.”

The video quickly went viral, with some social media users questioning why he had used the accent.

Some called out Chet’s actions as cultural appropriation, with one Twitter user writing, “If #ChetHanks (@CHETHAZE) had talked in a fake Mexican or Chinese-American accent, this would have been called out for being racist a LONG time ago. Why is he getting a pass because it is a ‘Jamaican’ accent? #racismstillalive.”

Chet’s mother, Rita Wilson, commented on his post, writing, “Maybe the best laugh of the night. ?”

On Monday, Chet responded to the confusion about his accent with another Instagram post.

Sharing a screenshot of a CNN article about his viral video, Chet expressed his amusement that his faux accent had made the news: “Average citizens: damn this is scary I can’t believe we’re on the verge of WW3 let me check the news smh @CNN: ????????????????.”

Chet Hanks and Tom Hanks in 2012
| Credit: Michael Tran/FilmMagic

Later on Monday, Chet doubled down on the accent, posting a second video where he spoke in Jamaican Patois, saying that the internet had “gone mad” over his viral video.

“RESPECT TO MI #ISLAND,” he captioned the clip, adding a row of Jamaican flag emojis.

Chet attended the Golden Globes on Sunday night alongside his entire family to watch his dad be presented with the prestigious honorary award.

During his acceptance speech, Tom, 63, teared up while giving a special shoutout to his family: his wife, Wilson, his four children — sons Colin, Chet, Truman and daughter Elizabeth — and Colin’s wife, Samantha Bryant.

“I’m sorry,” he apologized while taking a moment to gather himself. “A man is blessed with a family sitting down front like that. A wife who is fantastic in every way, who has taught me what love is. Five kids who are braver and stronger and wiser than their old man is.”

Tom Hanks with his family at the 2020 Golden Globes
| Credit: P. Lehman / Barcroft Media via Getty

The actor added: “And a loving group of people who have put [up] with me being away months and months and months at a time.”

“Of course, otherwise I wouldn’t be standing up here if they didn’t have to put up with that,” Tom said. “I can’t tell you how much your love means to me.”

In May 2018, Chet opened up to PEOPLE about being a member of a famous Hollywood family.

“Anyone who was born in some kind of shadow of success of their father or mother can share this journey of a growing process. Not by denying who you are, but by embracing who you are,” he said at the time. “This is who I am, and I’m not running away from it.”