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This Is Why Tom Hanks' Son Is Under Fire Again

Chet Hanks posted an anti-vaccine rant on Instagram despite his parents being COVID survivors.

When Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson's son, Chet Hanks, makes headlines, it's never for a positive reason. And now, he's back in the news again for more actions that are causing backlash. On Sunday, Aug. 9, Hanks posted an anti-vaccine rant on his Instagram account. In a video, the 31-year-old starts by sharing what appears to be an earnest message about why it's important to get the COVID-19 vaccine, but then says he was joking and gives an expletive-filled speech about how he's not getting vaccinated. He also downplays the severity of contracting COVID. Adding another layer to this is the fact that Hanks' parents were two of the first celebrities to contract COVID back in March and have spoken about their experience openly.

In the past, Hanks has received backlash for speaking in a fake Jamaican Patois accent, including at the 2020 Golden Globe Awards, and promoting a "white boy summer" earlier this year. Read on to find out more about Hanks' latest scandal.

RELATED: The Worst Tom Hanks Movie of All Time, According to Critics.

Hanks starts his post by pretending to support the vaccine.

In his Instagram video, Hanks tricks fans by first saying that he agrees with the vaccine and got it himself. "With the amount of people that I know recently that have gotten COVID and with the numbers rising, I think it's important for me to say, I got the vaccine," Hanks says in his video. "I think everybody should. I think it's really important that we do this as citizens, as Americans, that we look out for each other and get this s*** under control, guys. So, I suggest to all my followers, you guys, set an appointment and get the vaccine first thing."

But then he changes course completely.

Chet Hanks at a screening of "Tales" in 2017
Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for BET

After speaking positively about the vaccine, Hanks yells "psych!" And starts his rant. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," he says. "I never had COVID. You ain't sticking me with that motherf***ing needle."

He continues, "It's the motherf***ing flu. Get over it, okay? 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 motherf***ing mask."

Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), COVID-19 may be more contagious than the flu and can also cause more serious illness in some people who are infected. The CDC also recommends that unvaccinated people wear masks indoors, as face coverings stop the spread of the virus.

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Hanks complained about masks in another post.

Elizabeth Hanks, Chet Hanks, Chet's daughter, Rita Wilson, Tom Hanks, and Truman Hanks at Wilson's Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony in 2019
Ga Fullner /

As reported by The Daily Beast, before posting the rant video, Hanks had posted another video on his Instagram Story, in which he complained about a Barnes & Noble employee asking him to put his mask over his nose while he was in the store. "I'm so sick of this mask s***," he said. According to The Daily Beast, he also said that he lied to a Barnes & Noble employee about his vaccine status. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," he said. "I've never had COVID, b****."

Hanks' parents have promoted getting vaccinated again COVID.

Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson at her Hollywood Walk of Fame Ceremony in 2019
Featureflash Photo Agency /

Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have both been open about their experience having COVID last year and in their support of the vaccine. Since they had antibodies after having the coronavirus, they also donated blood to vaccine research.

"The idea of doing one's part, though, should be so simple—wear a mask, social distance, wash your hands," Tom said on the Today show in July 2020."That alone means you are contributing to the betterment of your house, your work, your town, your society as a whole, and it's such a small thing. It's a mystery to me how somehow that has been wiped out of what should be ingrained in the behavior of us all."

In April, when Wilson guest hosted Today, she said that she and Tom were eagerly waiting for their chance to get the vaccine. "To witness people hugging each other for the first time in a year, grandparents hugging their grandchildren, people hugging their parents, there's nothing like that," Wilson said. "That is truly a gift."

The CDC strongly recommends the COVID vaccine.

A senior man receiving his COVID-19 vaccine from a healthcare worker

The vaccine against COVID-19 is recommended by the CDC, and currently, everyone 12 and older is eligible for a free vaccine. "COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective," according to the agency. "COVID-19 vaccines were evaluated in tens of thousands of participants in clinical trials."

RELATED: If You Got This Vaccine, You May Be More Protected Against Delta.

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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