Chet Hanks has shared a video where he details his experience growing up with famous parents and why he wanted to create his own identity separate from his family.
For nearly 14 mostly-shirtless minutes, he speaks about garnering attention without actually being a celebrity or doing anything publicly notable. While the 31-year-old son of Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson (and brother of celebrated actor Colin Hanks) clarifies that he knows he was blessed to have been able to “travel the world, stay in nice hotels, fly on private planes,” he also felt he had to prove himself to others and couldn’t form any genuine relationships.
“My experience was even more complicated because on top of fame already being toxic, I wasn’t even famous,” Hanks says. “I was just the son of somebody famous, so I hadn’t even done anything to deserve any sort of recognition and that created a lot of contempt. People would make up their minds about me before they even got the chance to know me and it was extremely hard to break down their walls.”
Chet said it was because of this dynamic that he began to lash out as an adult, trying to create a personality for himself that was detached from his parents. He says this led him down a dark path that he’s now coming to grips with.
“People only hate on you if you’re a threat to them, if you, deep down, have something that they admire and feel like they lack in themselves,” he says. Later he expands on the thought, confessing, “That’s what I didn’t understand as a kid, is that these people were just fuckin’ jealous of me, and they were projecting their own insecurities onto me. I needed to hear that as a kid, I didn’t have like a strong male role model to tell me that, to tell me, ‘Hey bro, fuck these people, they’re just jealous of you.’”
Chet began an on-and-off rap career under the moniker Chet Haze when he entered college at Northwestern University, and dropped his single “White Boy Summer” last April. He signed to Soulja Boy’s SODMG Records later in the year.
In his “The Truth About Growing Up as a Hanks” video, he said people’s treatment of his didn’t just breed anger but shame. “I was just a little rich kid in this sheltered, protected bubble, and I didn’t experience shit. … I was deeply insecure and ashamed of my upbringing. … I felt like a little fuckin’ pussy rich kid that had never gone through shit, who didn’t deserve to be in this position, who internalized all the shame projected onto me, who created more and more of this within myself. And that’s what led me to, once I got older, to go about as far in the opposite direction of my upbringing as I could go. ’Cause I feel like I had to make up for that, so I could be a man. That’s the truth. It’s not just anger, it’s shame, insecurity, self-consciousness.”
The video includes Chet explaining he’s starting the HanxFit Self Mastery Program to change the trajectory of his life and others’. He says he’s “changed my life” and is no longer “self destructing by pleasure-seeking through partying, drugs, alcohol, substances, everything.” He followed it up with an Instagram post about meeting George W. Bush and being asked, “Hey Chester, what’s it like growing up the son of a famous father?”
Chet received a lot of backlash in August after saying that he was unvaccinated and had no plans of getting the jab, saying, “I ain’t never had COVID. You ain’t stickin’ me with that motherfuckin’ needle. … If you’re sick, stay inside. Why we working around y’all? If you’re in danger, stay your ass inside. I’m tired of wearing a motherfuckin’ mask.”
Additionally, Hanks’ ex-girlfriend Kiana Parker filed a $1 million civil lawsuit against him for alleged domestic abuse. Hanks’ attorney says the two broke up in January of last year because Parker “fraudulently made charges to [Chet’s] debit card,” but Parker’s attorney’s told Page Six the case is about “violence within the confines of a relationship between a man and a woman, a man who mentally and physically and psychologically battered, Kiana Parker.”