Chet Hanks Says He Didn’t Have a “Strong Male Role Model” With Tom Hanks as His Father

Is "America's Dad" ... not that great as a father?

Chet Hanks and Rita Wilson attend the Warner Brothers and InStyle 21st Annual Post Golden Globes After Party on January 05, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. In a new YouTube video posted in February 2022, Chet Hanks says growing up he didn't have a "strong male role model."
Chet Hanks and mother Rita Wilson attend the Warner Brothers and InStyle Golden Globes After Party in 2020.
Patrick McMullan via Getty

The term “America’s Dad” often gets applied to beloved actor Tom Hanks, but according to one of his actual offspring — “White Boy Summer” developer and noted anti-vaxxer Chet Hanks — growing up with the Oscar winner for a father wasn’t as great as one might expect. In a new YouTube video, the younger Hanks revealed he doesn’t feel like he had a “strong male role model” growing up.

Hanks claimed that growing up the child of celebrities was difficult for him (his mother is actress Rita Wilson). “My experience was even more complicated because on top of fame already being toxic, I wasn’t even famous,” he said in the video, titled “The Truth About Growing Up As A Hanks.” “You know, 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, a lot of contempt for me.”

He felt that his peers were jealous of him and unfairly targeted him. He said he “was a decent-looking kid, you know, I was athletic, I was good with girls” and noted that “the fame aspect” made people “jealous of me and they were projecting their own insecurities onto me.” Apparently he could have used a little more support from the Toy Story actor in coping with it all.

“I needed to hear that as a kid,” he said. “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. You have all these things that they want so they’re trying to fucking throw their shade at you so that you can feel shitty about yourself because they’re jealous.’”

Ultimately, however, he insisted that he loves his parents and “wouldn’t want any different parents.” Of course, growing up with wealthy celebrities does have its perks.

“I got to travel the world, stay in nice hotels, fly on private planes and I’m very blessed for that,” he said. “I wouldn’t change my situation.”

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