Tom Hanks’ son Chet under fire for ‘gaslighting’ and ‘cultural appropriation’ over Jamaican accent impression

Chet Hanks has been criticised for posting videos in which he uses a Jamaican accent
Chet Hanks has been criticised for posting videos in which he uses a Jamaican accent
Rex Features

America’s sweetheart Tom Hanks’ son is facing criticism after he defended his “appropriative” impressions of a Jamaican accent.

Chet Hanks has faced criticism on numerous occasions for doing controversial impressions of Jamaican Patois, including while giving his father a shout out for an Oscar nomination and in a video celebrating Joe Biden’s presidential election win.

On Wednesday, Twitter user @ore_xoxo posted a clip where Hanks appeared to take part in a debate about the accent on Clubhouse – a popular audio-only app where people can take part in discussions across “rooms”.

In the clip, Hanks can be heard defending his position in a ‘room’ titled ‘All Love’.

One person challenged him, saying: "When you’re in an environment where there are no Jamaicans, no people that understand or are sympathetic to the Caribbean or Jamaicans at all, are you going to walk into a room of people and just use it?’

“Guys, it’s really as simple as this,” Hanks responded. “If I get on a binge and I watch a bunch of English gangster movies, and I go around... ordering a coffee at Starbucks and I’m with my friend and I go, ‘Give me a latte, guvna.’ I’m not s***ing on these English people.”

“English people were not oppressed,” someone can be heard responding.

The heated argument continued, while some apparently defended Hanks’ comments, the aspiring rapper began to trend on Twitter because of what one person called his use of “verbal blackface”.

“I can’t believe Chet Hanks is gaslighting Black people here on Clubhouse. When is that vaccine coming out again? We need to get outside again,” one person wrote.

“Not Chet Hanks speaking in his normal white man voice defending his right to speak in a Jamaican accent and Jamaican slang…” another person commented.

It’s beyond unfortunate that Chet refuses to consider his privilege, especially when his position has been challenged so many times:

“It’s people like Chet Hanks taking up space in Jamaican culture then having the audacity to say ‘it’s from a place of love’ so therefore it’s valid when challenged by actual Jamaicans,” as @iamntyrell put it. “Get the hell out of here”.

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