Someone, please take Chet Hanks’ phone away.
The 31-year-old son of Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson went on a wild rant against the vaccine and COVID-19 on Monday, calling the potentially fatal virus “the motherfucking flu”—despite his own parents being hospitalized with the virus last March.
The White Boy Summer rapper’s tirade seemed to come after he paid a visit to a Barnes & Noble bookstore, where an employee prompted him to pull his slipping mask up over his nose.
“I’m so sick of this mask shit,” Hanks complained outside the store. He went on to explain that the worker had asked him about his vaccination status and that he lied. Laughing, Hanks said, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I’ve never had COVID, bitch.”
He then posted a video to his Instagram feed, going on a mock influencer-type spiel about the importance of getting vaccinated. “Look, I’ve been kind of on the fence about this for a while... but 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 [that] I got the vaccine,” he started. “I think it’s really important that we all do this... we have to look out for each other and get this shit under control guys. I suggest to all my followers, you guys set an appointment and get the vaccine first thing.”
“SIKE,” Hanks screams. “Bitch, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I never had COVID. You ain’t sticking me with that motherfucking needle, it’s the motherfucking flu. Get over it. OK? If you’re sick, stay inside. Why are we working around y’all? If you’re in danger, stay your ass inside. I’m tired of wearing a motherfucking mask.”
“The vaccine should be a choice not a requirement to perform our basic rights,” he wrote in an Instagram Story, before uploading photos of the books he presumably purchased from the bookstore. Among them were The Mustard Seed: The Revolutionary Teachings of Jesus, Tao Te Ching, and Teachings of the Buddha.
Hanks’ anti-vax rant is odd, considering his own parents were some of the first celebrities to announce they were sick with the virus in March 2020. At the time, Hanks downplayed their illness, although they were then hospitalized in Australia.
“They both are fine,” Hanks said. “They’re not even that sick. They’re not worried about it. They’re not tripping, but they’re going through the necessary health precautions, obviously. But I don’t think it’s anything to be too worried about.”
Both Tom Hanks and Wilson made a full recovery and have continued to spread awareness about COVID-19, even volunteering to donate their blood to aid in research about the virus. This March, to mark the one-year anniversary of getting sick, Wilson wrote that both she and her husband “share in the sorrow of each person who lost a loved one to this virus.”
“I’m hopeful for so many being able to get the vaccine,” she added.