Chet Hanks Was Asked If He Wants To 'Apologize' For Cultural Appropriation—And His Answer Is Very On Brand
Chet Hanks, the internet-infamous white rapper who is somehow the son of iconic actor Tom Hanks, is no stranger to accusations of cultural appropriation. And he's not apologizing for it.
That's what Hanks told comedian Ziwe Fumodoh on her Showtime show Ziwe, which lampoons America's issues with race by asking guests deeply uncomfortable questions about it.
Asked by Fumodoh if he'd like to apologize for frequently appropriating African American Vernacular English and Caribbean patois in his work, Hanks had a one-word answer—"Nah."
See the clip below.
i asked chet hanks if he wanted to apologize to any marginalized communitiespic.twitter.com/EEzD9VrtNs— ziwe (@ziwe) 1651850502
Hanks' appearance on Ziwe comes fresh on the heels of his one-episode arc on Donald Glover's FX series Atlanta, another series centered on race issues and the Black experience.
In the episode, Hanks plays a white guy from New York City's ultra-posh Soho neighborhood who speaks in Trinidadian Patois, one of the many Caribbean languages that blend West African languages spoken by slaves with the European languages of the colonists who trafficked them.
Hanks seems not to have picked up on the significance of his Atlanta character's details.
Fumodoh asked if there were "any marginalized communities" Hanks would like to apologize to, gesturing offset presumably toward a crew member and adding, "maybe the Patois community."
Hanks told her:
"I don't feel like I've truly done anything offensive."
Fumodoh then baited Hanks into saying he instead sees appropriation as a "celebration of culture" and agrees "social justice warriors can go kick rocks'."
"Yeah... I a hundred percent agree, social justice warriors can kick rocks."
Interestingly, Hanks seemed to refrain from using his usual mix of Patois and an AAVE-mimicking "Blaccent" while talking with Fumodoh.
Hanks has repeatedly been criticized for the way he seems to almost pretend to be Black in his work, on red carpets and on social media, and his "kick rocks" response to Fumodoh is one he has frequently invoked, as in the Instagram post below.
Hanks has also defended his use of Black speech and Patois by absurdly comparing it to Black people engaging in the "mainly white" sport of snowboarding or wearing cowboy boots and loving country music.
On Twitter, some Jamaicans, one of the largest Patois-speaking communities, defended Hanks and agreed that his use of the language is celebration, and not appropriation.
I have never seen or heard Jamaicans say that they are offended by him using patois or any other element of our culture. We didn\u2019t care when Adele wore Bantu knots and a bikini with our flag and we don\u2019t care now. Why is everyone outraged for us when we don\u2019t care???https://twitter.com/ziwe/status/1522597482005475328\u00a0\u2026— Louise Litt (@Louise Litt) 1651869268
But many others people were not exactly impressed by Hanks' Ziwe appearance.
I\u2019m sure some people \u201cinvited him to the cookout\u201d. \nRemember these people love our rhythm but not our blues.— Tamika Moore (@Tamika Moore) 1651855409
Evergreen Tweet.https://twitter.com/Curtis_Cook/status/1375886812929875970?s=20&t=PMf_IpoyfL_8LiObg5JqTA\u00a0\u2026— Alin (@Alin) 1651851821
When you have that much privilege to not self reflect and when you have a millionaire dad why would you feel you haven\u2019t done anything wrong. You e been told your whole life you\u2019re right.— stevo \ud83e\udd18\ud83c\udffd (@stevo \ud83e\udd18\ud83c\udffd) 1651881893
imagine being asked to self-reflect & simply saying \n"no "— Becca O'Neal \ud83c\udf52 (@Becca O'Neal \ud83c\udf52) 1651853206
Growing up with money makes some people immune to any criticism.\n\nThey need to cut him off— Melissa \ud83d\udc9a cutejewelrystore - BLM - wear a mask! (@Melissa \ud83d\udc9a cutejewelrystore - BLM - wear a mask!) 1651853562
I refuse to believe that this is Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson\u2019s son. I just refuse to believe it.— Jere (@Jere) 1651850833
As a member of the Patois community, i think Chet Hanks should kick rockshttps://twitter.com/ziwe/status/1522597482005475328\u00a0\u2026— owee ennui \ud83d\ude12 (@owee ennui \ud83d\ude12) 1651850990
lmao white ppl are watching this clip like \u201chell yeah go chet\u201d and i think maybe only 6% of viewers get that it is satirehttps://twitter.com/ziwe/status/1522597482005475328\u00a0\u2026— ashley ray (@ashley ray) 1651880479
White Boy Summer 2022 is certainly off to an interesting start.