Tom Hanks' Son Chet Hanks Responds After Video of Faux Patois Accent at Golden Globes Goes Viral
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: ????????????????.”
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.
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.”
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.”