Who Is Chet Hanks and What the Hell Is a ‘White Boy Summer’?

Tom Hanks’s rapper son has turned summer into a season no one’s excited about

Chet Hanks—rapper, extraordinary troll, and grown-ass son of Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson—got the internet jumping through his hoops again over the weekend, this time by declaring that we’re in for a “White Boy Summer” this season.

A what?

Hanks, 30, told his 426,000 Instagram followers, “I just got this feeling man… that this summer is, it’s about to be a white boy summer. Take it how you want. I’m not talking about Trump, NASCAR type white. I’m talking about, you know, me, Jon B, Jack Harlow type white boy summer.”

Requesting feedback, Hanks added, “Let me know if you guys can vibe with that and get ready, ’cause I am.”

While most people are not admitting that they can, ever, vibe with any of that—and while this pronouncement may not live on like Megan Thee Stallion’s “Hot Girl Summer,” from whence Hanks presumably lifted the name—it’s already threatening to challenge Seinfeld’s “Summer of George” as meme shorthand for a season that doesn’t quite live up to expectations.


Once social media got a mouthful of the bait, the self-proclaimed “REAL vanilla king” codified how the Caucasian solstice should be observed, releasing the “rules” in a follow up post.

First, no plaid shirts: “Can’t be looking like a picnic table out here boys. Leave them sh*ts at home, the Vineyard Vines…just put on a black tee or a white tee, keep it simple.”

Boat shoes, especially Sperry Top-Siders, are out, too, so Hanks recommends “some Vans, some Jordans.” He does admit, however, “I’m not really a sneakerhead but, you know, feel it out.”

Also, don’t call women “smoke shows,” and if you own salmon-colored apparel, Chet advises, “Burn it, burn that sh*t, don’t ever wear that again.”

If it seems a rather random move to launch a campaign guaranteed to cause offense and befuddled head-shaking, the internet has spent years wondering whether perhaps Hanks is some sort of Andy Kaufman minus the hit sitcom.

One thing we do know is that in the fall of 2015, he admitted he went to rehab for a coke/crack problem. A few months earlier, he was not only busted for using the N-word, he also defended bandying it about, writing in a since-deleted Instagram post, “I do say the n word in real life amongst my black friends who get me and can’t nobody tell me I can’t say what the [expletive] I feel like no disrespect to the struggle of black ppl during the civil rights movement but it’s 2015 now…get with the times.”

He’s also taken a ton of criticism for slipping in and out of a Jamaican patois, but that doesn’t seem to bother him either.

Addressing his son’s addiction struggle, Tom Hanks told People, “As a parent, you love your kids unconditionally,” but he hasn’t discussed the rest of it.

The double Oscar-winner did speak about the differences between his older children, Colin and Elizabeth—who he had with his first wife, Samantha Lewes—and younger sibs, Chet and Truman.

“We have this gestalt understanding because [Colin and Elizabeth] remember when their dad was just a guy trying to, you know, make the rent,” he said. “My other kids, they were born after I had established a beachhead in every way. And so their lives were just different.”

As far as Chet’s career goes, Dad told Stephen Colbert last year, “He’s a bona fide actor.”


In a post the day after his big announcement—hastagged #WhiteboySummer and #IVORYKING—Chet promoted his latest project, the Actor’s Advantage.

Whatever that is, Chet warns that you’d better hurry up and become a “Founding Member” in order to “lock in $100 off your monthly membership forever!”

Or, you may decide not to.

RELATED: Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson Announce That They Have Coronavirus

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