Tom Hanks’ son Chet has shared a video of himself speaking about his idea of cultural appropriation, the unacknowledged adoption of customs, practices and ideas of one group of people by members of another and typically more dominant group of people.
Hanks, who made headlines in January for speaking patois on the Golden Globes red carpet, attempted to speak with a Caribbean accent again in a new video at a pool party.
In a clip shared on Tuesday night, titled “Chet Chat Vol. VI (Part 2): Cultural Appropriation,” Hanks speaks about the topic of cultural appropriation without using the accent.
Hanks shared some of the responses he’s been receiving to his Instagram videos, saying he’s confused by people saying white people have no culture.
“That to me is confusing because just look at all the different varieties of European cultures,” he said. “Second of all, let’s assume that’s true, let’s assume white people have no culture, but if they did have a culture, what would that be like?”
He said that he believes snowboarding is an example of “white culture.”
“People are saying snowboarding is a terrible example because you can’t compare a sport to people’s hair.
“If you’re focusing on what I said about snowboarding as a sport, you’re missing the point. I didn’t mean it as a sport, I meant it as a reference for a community that surrounds it. The community that surrounds snowboarding is mainly white.”
“I imagine it to be something like, one example, snowboarding — like the culture surrounding snowboarding — or motocross where it’s just, like, mostly white people,” he said. “Not saying that it has to be that way or it should be that way, but that’s just, for the most part, what it is.”
Hanks then moved onto a different comparison that involved music.
“Let’s switch it up to hip hop versus country music,” he said.
“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?”
“If you don’t have a problem with a Black person wearing cowboy hats and cowboys boots and loving country music, then why do you have a problem with white people wearing braids and gold teeth and getting into hip-hop music?” he said. “It’s this whole idea of theft, of they steal it from us.”
“Why can’t it just be that he loves Black culture and that’s just what speaks to him?” Hanks asked.
The 29-year-old actor also asked: “Why are we so caught up on this idea of theft and stealing?”
“Why are we so quick to be angry and tense over the blurring of racial communities, instead of just being welcoming towards it?”
Hanks, who has had roles in shows such as Shameless and Empire, previously came under fire in 2015 for using the N-word in a video.
“Look, I know the majority of y’all are not gonna get this because the history is still so fresh in our country. But hip hop isn’t about race. It’s about the culture you identify with. And can’t no one tell me what I can’t say,” he said.
“If I say n—a, I say it amongst people I love and who love me. If I say ‘f— y’all hatin’ ass n—-s,’ it’s because that’s really how I felt at the time. And I don’t accept society getting to decide what anybody can or can’t say. That’s something we call free speech.”
He addressed the video in 2018 and blamed his defence of using the word on his drug use and “trolling.”
“Low-key, like subconsciously, looking back on it now, I realize I was trolling. I thought, like, crazy antics and just wilding the f— out and doing some crazy s— was going to like spark my career,” he said on Van Lathan’s The Red Pill podcast.
Hanks has been open about his battle with drug addiction in the past.
He says he is now sober after entering rehab and following the birth of his daughter Michaiah in 2016.
—With a file from Chris Jancelewicz