Chet Hanks decided that Instagram isn’t the place to share his “super deep talks” (e.g. anti-vaxxer rants and White Boy Summer™ declarations), so he started a YouTube channel. He uploaded his first video, “The Truth About Growing Up As A Hanks,” yesterday. In it he talks about the toxic side of fame and being raised by Tom Hanks. The real takeaway is that 31-year-old Chet doesn’t use Jamaican patois. Not once. Is this… White Boy Growth™?
I watched all 13 minutes and 42 seconds (at 1.5 speed), and Chet doesn’t reveal anything wildly inflammatory. He says fame has a ton of perks (like staying in nice hotels and traveling the world in private planes), but overall it’s been a “double-edged sword”:
My experience was even more complicated because on top of fame already being toxic, I wasn’t even famous. 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.
Chet shares an anecdote about meeting George W. Bush when he was president:
When I was introduced to the president, he turned to me, and he said, “Hey Chester. What was it like growing up the son of a famous father?” And I was caught off guard, cuz I was only 14. The answer I gave him then is pretty much the same answer I give people now. And I said, “Well, Mr. President. There are a lot of advantages, but sometimes it can be pretty weird.”
And he said, “That’s a good answer. I think I know a little something about that.” Because, people forget. His dad was the president as well… ya know?
WHOA. I, for one, had completely forgotten that George W. Bush was the son of former president George H. W. Bush. Thank you so much for that powerful reminder, Chet.
Chet says that growing up, kids either used him for his dad or talked shit about him cuz they were jealous. He also had to deal with everybody immediately assuming he was an entitled little shit. Chet says that this judgment created a lot of shame and insecurity, and he dealt with that through anger and self-destructive behavior through his teens and twenties. But listen up, haters! According to Chet, he wasn’t even spoiled:
I’m very privileged, but I wasn’t spoiled. I know a lot of wealthy kids who were spoiled. My parents didn’t spoil me. I was never just given money or an allowance. I had to work and earn everything that I’ve made and it’s been that way through my entire life. Growing up, if I needed money to go out, have fun with my friends, my dad would be like, “OK, you want some money? Go wash my car, I’ll give you 60 bucks.” Everything was earned. And I’m grateful for that.
Yep. Washing daddy’s car eventually bought Chet his condo, his clothes, his gold chains, even his own car. This White Boy achieved his dreams, with nothin’ but a hose, a sponge, and a little elbow grease!
Here’s Chet’s first YouTube video:
Stay tuned for Video #2, in which Chet discusses his other famous parent: rapper Rita Wilson.