Tom Hanks is, at 64, much more than a movie star. His projection as a public figure transcends his status as an actor: Hanks is a timeless, intergenerational icon, a sort of father of America with silver temples. “No matter what happens, I am proud of you,” he told viewers of Saturday Night Live, with an almost institutional tone, a few days before Trump was elected president in 2016. The star masterfully complements his role as a social oracle oblivious to controversy and allergic to eccentricity, mirror of the average American, with his taste for male roles Exemplars, Heroes of One-Dimensional Goodness, and Undisputed Principles: From Walt Disney (Meeting Mr. Banks) a Fred Rogers (An extraordinary friend), through journalist Ben Bradlee (The Pentagon Archives) or Captain Phillips in the homonymous movie.
Beyond surname and profession, Chester Hanks has little in common with his father. At 30, the third of the actor’s four children has not followed the impeccable example of his brothers: Colin – a respected actor -, Elizabeth – a writer – and the youngest, Truman, who is making his way into the industry as an operator Of camera. Despite his dabbling in the small screen, in recent series such as Your Honor O Empire, Chester, known as Chet Haze in the rap scene, has captured more articles in tabloid media such as TMZ that in the pages of the specialized media Variety, dragging a thick history of controversies that have escalated in recent months.
Magazine People has revealed that Hanks’ last ex-girlfriend, Kiana Parker, has filed a complaint against him for physical and verbal abuse in court, in addition to requesting a restraining order that has been accepted. According to the young woman, the recent deterioration in her romantic relationship evolved into a pattern of sexist violence. “He threatened her with a pistol on different occasions, threw objects at her and uttered various racist insults,” says the complaint filed. It comes just a few weeks after the actor formally accused her of assault and robbery, leaking a video of Hanks with his face bloody because, according to him, of a cut she made with a knife.
As the accusations mounted, Chet Hanks took advantage of the media attention to release the first images of his new job as a rapper, White Boy Summer (the white boy’s summer). Showing off his toned and tattooed body, Hanks appears surrounded by bikini-clad girls doing twerking while he pours an alcoholic drink on their behinds. But the biggest controversy generated by its launch has been the marketing campaign that accompanies it, which bets on messages stamped on T-shirts, sweatshirts or shorts with gothic typography, the same one commonly used by white supremacist groups and similar to the one that appears on the cover of some editions of the My fight of Hitler.
“These promotional items seem aggressively racist,” claimed a Twitter user in an observation that already accumulates more than 160,000 ‘likes’. He, for his part, defended himself by confirming that he will soon launch a collection with the slogan Black Queen Summer (the summer of the black queen). He has also shown his support on different occasions to the Black Lives Matter movement and to Joe Biden, in whose inauguration ceremony Tom Hanks participated. “After having Donald Trump embolden the supremacists for four years, I do not know if it is time to vindicate the summer of the white man,” wrote the columnist skeptically. The Guardian Arwa Mahdawi, confused after Hanks asked her male followers to “evolve from Pikachu to Raichu.”
But suspicions about Chet’s ideology are not new. Already in 2015 he refused to stop repeating the term nigga (something like black), insult with which whites knew blacks in the days of slavery, today colloquial in the field of hip hop but very pejorative when pronounced by a Caucasian. In a more recent episode, which took place last January 2020 and coincidentally the last to date in which he has been seen with his father in front of the lights, the musician was about to spoil the big night for his father. As the Hollywood industry celebrated Tom Hanks’ career by earning him the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globes, Chet posted a video on social media in which he mimicked the Jamaican accent, a viral parody widely criticized by the press and tweeters.
The son of Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson rose to fame when in 2014 he made public his addiction to drugs, which he claimed to have struggled with since he was 16 years old, and entered a rehabilitation center. Graduated in Dramatic Art from Northwestern University, his entry coincided in time with his participation in the film adaptation of the Marvel comic The cfour fantastic, which looked like it was going to be his stepping stone to stardom. In a comment on Instagram, Chet blamed the family context for his close relationship with narcotics: “Finding out who I am has been quite a journey because of all the pressures I have had to deal with in my life. You know, being my father’s son and all that ”. Just six months later, the British newspaper Daily Mirror made public the search and arrest warrant that the police of that country had issued against him for vandalizing a hotel room in London. In December 2016, Chet announced that he had had a girl named Michaiah, the fruit of a relationship that had already ended. A birth, which, according to what he affirmed, had meant a before and after. “She is the reason I have turned my entire life upside down and why I stay sober.”
The protagonist of films like Forrest Gump Not only has he avoided speaking out in the media about his son’s many controversies, he has also tried to keep him in check, at least professionally. Besides getting him a cameo in Larry Crowne, the comedy that he starred in with Julia Roberts, last year he shared a set with him in Greyhound: Enemies Under the Sea, a thriller naval set in World War II, produced, written and starred by the actor, and in which he asserted his status to exercise a nepotism that he himself admitted in his appearance in the late night by Stephen Colbert. “It was a lot of fun working with him because he is an incredibly good actor. One of the joys of having a certain influence and being the star of the film is being able to ask certain people to appear in it ”, revealed Hanks, who could not hide his enthusiasm when speaking, this time for strictly artistic reasons, about his son in TV. The one known as “father of America” is, above all and despite everything, the father of Chester Hanks.
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