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What in the Chet Hanks? Twitter roasts Tom Hanks' son for 'white boy summer' video

LA Times logo LA Times 3/29/2021 Christi Carras
Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson, Chet Hanks posing for the camera: Tom Hanks, left, Rita Wilson and Chet Hanks attend a 2010 Emmys party in West Hollywood. (Jeff Kravitz / FilmMagic) © (Jeff Kravitz / FilmMagic) Tom Hanks, left, Rita Wilson and Chet Hanks attend a 2010 Emmys party in West Hollywood. (Jeff Kravitz / FilmMagic)

We regret to inform you that Chet Hanks is at it again.

As usual, Twitter has been mercilessly roasting the eldest, most unpredictable son of actors Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks after the "Your Honor" star posted a video last week declaring a "white boy summer" — a play on rapper Megan Thee Stallion's viral 2019 hit, "Hot Girl Summer," that forever transformed the social media lexicon.

"I just got this feeling, man, that this summer ... it's about to be a white boy summer," Chet Hanks said Friday in an Instagram video. "Take it how you want. I'm not talking about Trump, NASCAR-type white. I'm talking about me, Jon B., Jack Harlow-type white boys, you know what I mean? Let me know if you guys can vibe with that, and get ready. 'Cause I am."

It turns out social media users could not, in fact, "vibe with that." They could and did, however, produce an endless stream of "white boy summer" memes making fun of Chet Hanks' latest antics, to which he later responded in a follow-up video laying out the "rules and regs" of his so-called "white boy summer."

"Woke up this morning — internet gone mad, again, sheesh," Chet Hanks said Saturday in a new clip. "But I just want to drop a few rules and regs for the white boy summer. Rule No. 1 — to all my white boys out there — no plaid shirts. OK? You can't be looking like a picnic table out here, boys.

"You know what I'm talking about. Leave that s— at home. ... Just put on a black tee, a white tee. You know what I mean? Keep it simple. Rule No. 2: No Sperry [shoes]. That's not the kind of white boys we're talking about, dog. OK? Get yourself some Vans, some Uggs, some Jordans. I'm not really a sneaker-head, but, you know, feel it out. ... There'll be more rules coming."

While the questionable optics of a white man co-opting and whitewashing a catchphrase coined by a Black woman are a given, many were floored by the fact that one of the most beloved and revered movie stars of all time could produce such a chaotic wildcard of a son. Chet Hanks has drawn criticism in the past for mimicking a Jamaican accent, appropriating patois and using the N-word.

"You will never convince me that Chet Hanks is anything but an elaborate prank designed by Hollywood execs to test the limits of Tom Hanks' marketability," wrote one person.

"Chet Hanks is proof that you can do everything right in the world and kids will still embarrass tf outta you," tweeted another.

Some couldn't help but wonder how Chet Hanks and his Oscar-winning father interact in private. The 30-year-old legacy actor — who has appeared in projects ranging from "Shameless" to "Empire" — has accompanied his famous parents at multiple red-carpet events, including the 2020 Golden Globes where Tom Hanks received a lifetime achievement award.

"I physically can not imagine Chet Hanks and Tom Hanks talking to eachother," one person tweeted.

"Chet Hanks is the price we all must pay for Tom Hanks neglecting his parental duties to give us all those classic movies," wrote another.

See more reactions to Chet Hanks' "white boy summer" crusade below.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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