Tom Hanks' son speaks out after being accused of cultural appropriation in video
Chet Hanks, the son of acclaimed Hollywood actor Tom Hanks, has responded to accusations of cultural appropriation after he provoked outrage on social media by putting on an accent.
The controversy began when Hanks took to Instagram to post a video of himself on the red carpet at the Golden Globes. Assuming an accent, Chet gesticulated wildly and played up to the camera.
The video was captioned: "IG UP FIMI WHOL FAMILY SOON COM AT DI AWARDS NA SEEN 🔥 🔥 🔥 CHUNE IN [sic]"
This is the video that shocked Hanks' Instagram followers:
However, a number of Chets Instagram followers felt as though the impression was actually a racist caricature, and soon social media users were taking to the comments to accuse Chet of cultural appropriation.
But Chet has now posted a vlog in which he has defended his behavior and provided a rationalization for why he believes the voice is not wholly inappropriate.
In the video in question, Hanks reportedly states: "If a white person gets into hip hop and they start getting braids and gold teeth, some people call that appropriation. But if a black person puts on a cowboy hat and gets into country music, there's nothing wrong with that. Why would anybody have a problem with that?"
He continued: "It's because of this whole idea of theft, of 'they steal it from us, they take it from us, they take it for themselves and benefit off of it without helping the people they took it from'. Why does it have to be all about stealing? Why do you have to look at it like a white person who's wearing braids and gold teeth is trying to manipulate and steal from black culture?"
He added: "Why can't it just be that he loves black culture and that's just what speaks to him. Isn't it just as easy to look at it from the other perspective, which is just people like what they like, they love what they love, and nobody should have a problem with that. Why are we so quick to be angry and tense over the blurring of racial communities, instead of just being welcoming towards it?"
Hanks took to Instagram to defend his accent and deny he was being offensive:
This isn't the first racial controversy Hanks has gotten himself embroiled in. Back in 2015 he provoked even more intense outrage after using a racial slur in a photo caption.