celebrity

No One Understands Why Tom Hanks’ Son Chet Hanks Suddenly Adopted A Jamaican Patois Accent

by Karen Belz
Karen Belz has written for sites such as Bustle, HelloGiggles, Romper, and So Yummy. She's the mom of a sassy toddler and drinks an alarming amount of Sugar-Free Red Bull in order to keep up with her.

Chet Hanks isn’t the first celebrity to suddenly adopt an accent. We all remember when Madonna suddenly became British, even though she was born in Michigan.

And Lindsay Lohan, who sometimes speaks in a way that seems Turkish — but isn’t. The changes could seem baffling.

For Madonna, her press team stated that the accent came about when she was practicing her speech for the film Evita. As for Lindsay, she told the Daily Mail that the new speech was “a mixture of most of the languages I can understand or am trying to learn. I’ve been learning different languages since I was a child. I’m fluent in English and French can understand Russian and am learning Turkish, Italian, and Arabic.”

So what’s the excuse for Chet Hanks? At the Golden Globes, Chet — who was there to support his famous father, Tom — was caught on tape talking in a Caribbean accent. He posted the video himself on Instagram. But it was also talked about all over Twitter.

His mom, actress Rita Wilson, commented that the accent was “Maybe the best laugh of the night,” according to the Grapevine. Rita herself was in the news regarding the Golden Globes, after her hair and makeup help didn’t arrive on time. Her tweets about it made sense, as it’s a frustrating situation. Still, it didn’t win her a ton of sympathy, with all of the other problems happening in the world.

People first noticed the Jamaican patois on the red carpet. Chet tried to get the audience to stay tuned into the Golden Globes, but his new accent was almost distracting. He could have just been having fun, but he should have known that it would have been seen as culturally inappropriate.

Since Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have been in the scene for a bit, you’d assume that Chet would know more about cultural appropriation. It’s been a hot topic for the last few years, in drawing the line between appreciating someone’s culture and mocking it. Based on Chet’s attitude, it seems like the latter is more fitting.

When Chet has been in the news, usually the stories haven’t been very uplifting. According to the Cut, Chet Hanks — formerly known as Chet Haze — is a 29-year-old rapper. He also appeared on Empire, playing the role of Blake. One thing he has to be happy about is his sobriety. Chet has reportedly been living a sober life since 2016.

He entered rehab after news of him trashing a hotel room went public. It was newsworthy since Tom Hanks has such a squeaky clean image — it’s behavior you wouldn’t expect from his son. But those who know Chet on a personal level weren’t afraid to air their stories about him once the Golden Globes video went viral.

Chet also made the news back in 2015, after trying to defend his use of the n-word. Per the Los Angeles Times, he stated that he felt the derogatory term “unifies the culture of hip-hop across all races.” He also reportedly said that he does “say the n word in real life amongst my black friends who get me and can’t nobody tell me I can’t say what the [expletive] I feel like no disrespect to the struggle of black ppl during the civil rights movement but it’s 2015 now.”

Chet got a lot of backlash over his comments, which was to be expected. Later, he blamed the outburst on drugs. If he’s still sober, as reported, he doesn’t have that same excuse now. And the fact that his mom found it amusing means that she’s also unaware of why both his word choices and sudden accent have been seen as problematic.

When Chet learned that his video baffled fans, his response was, “Average citizens: damn this is scary I can’t believe we’re on the verge of WW3 let me check the news smh [shaking my head].” He also released another video, smiling and bringing the accent back. So this might be something that sticks with him, not just a one-time thing.

In the video, recorded by someone else, he can be seen leaving a shop holding a smoothie. “Internet gone mad!” he says in the midst of his speech. A lot of his fans applauded him for keeping up with it, with one saying that Chet was “Effortlessly causing commotion.”

But hopefully it’s not the sign of a relapse — Chet admitted that the controversy in 2015 was, in his eyes, a good way to get attention and boost his career. This is a similar incident, but it seems like things have gotten much better for him since he left rehab. For one, he has a beautiful daughter.

Daughter Michaiah was born in 2016 and is lucky enough to have Tom Hanks as a grandfather. Heavy reports that years ago, Chet wrote a now-deleted Instagram message prior to her birth, saying that family was one of the things that kept him strong. “I’ve been struggling with substance abuse since I was 16 years old,” he admitted. “Finally at the age of 24 I decided to get some help. With 50 days of sobriety under my belt, I can honestly say I’m the happiest I’ve ever been.”

His daughter was his key reason for getting clean. “It was the prospect of having a kid, and I knew ‘in 9 months, there’s gonna be a baby here,’ that gave me the motivation to be like ‘Okay, I’ve had my time with all that and I need to move on,'” Chet said, according to Heavy. As you can see in his Instagram photos, he has her name tattooed over his heart.

Curious about why Chet was even at the Golden Globes? While he has his own career, he was mostly there to support his dad. Tom won the Cecil B. DeMille Award, which is the most prestigious award of the event. Based on Tom’s long and successful career, it was well earned.

One of the most touching moments of the speech was when Tom teared up. He made sure to thank his family, saying that “a man is blessed with a family sitting down front like that,” adding, “I can’t tell you how much your love means to me.” Watching him speak, it’s hard not to get choked up.

While Chet may be a little more rebellious than Tom’s other kids, the fact that he came to show his support is worth mentioning. He’s always had nothing but nice things to say about his father, and it seems like he’s come a long way in recent years. Let’s just hope that someday, he acknowledges that the patois might not have been the best idea.