When Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson revealed earlier this month that they had tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus that has spread across the globe, things got serious. It kicked off a wave of celebrity PSAs and messages urging fans to practice kindness and, most importantly, take the virus seriously.

Amid the chaos, Hanks and Wilsons son Chester Hanks, who has also gone by his rapper name Chet Haze, has provided frequent updates about his parents condition and taken conspiracy theorists to task for spreading misinformation. The Hanks son has become a voice of reasonsoothing in a similar way to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, whose stern leadership has garnered him considerable praise and even a few coronavirus crushes despite his less-than-stellar track record. Like Cuomo, Chet Haze is something of an unlikely hero himself, given that just months ago, he was best known for the weeks in January he spent speaking in Jamaican patois for some reasonand, previously, having frequently used the N word both in his music and on social media.

When Hanks and Wilson first tested positive, their son posted a video of his own on Instagram to update fans. It was the first of several posts in which the actor-rapper would encourage fans not to panic.

They both are fine, Hanks said of his parents. Theyre not worried about it; theyre not tripping, but theyre going through the necessary precautions, obviously. But I dont think its anything to be too worried about. And last week he provided another update on their condition, noting that they had left the hospital and were self-quarantining in Australia.

I think the most important thing is that we just stay calm, because panicking really isnt necessary and its just making things more difficult than they need to be, Hanks said before calling out people who are acting selfishly in the face of the pandemic: If you went to the grocery store and hoarded all the water and the toilet paper for yourself, I think youre the problem, he said.

If were all a little less selfish and a little more selfless, were all gonna be completely fine, Hanks added. I know this is crazy, but Im just wishing everybody the best, and were gonna get through this.

And over the weekend, Hanks pivoted to make fun of right-wing conspiracy theorists as well.

Im really stressed out right now, he said in a sarcastic video. Its been coming to my attention that a lot of Trump supporters have been figuring out the truth about me and my family being in the… He pulled down his shirt collar to reveal an Illuminati tattoo.

Hanks noted that theories have been spreading on extremely reliable websites like 4chan and 8chan, adding, If somebody wrote it on the internet, you know it must be true.

I guess Im just gonna have to work extra hard at my human sacrifices, Hanks snarked. Im late for one right now and Im a little hungry so I might eat someones pineal gland on the way… Just know that were watching you, and if youre talking shit on the internet, youre gonna be one of the first people sent to the FEMA camps.

Although the novel coronavirus outbreak has certainly boosted Hanks name recognition this year, he actually made headlines in January as well, when he broke out in Jamaican patois on the red carpet at the Golden Globes.

It was, more than anything, a confusing momentone that garnered a fair amount of attention. Social media usersincluding a couple of Hanks former Northwestern classmatespoked fun at him. But Hanks seemed amused by the confused responsesand posted a few more videos in patois. In the final of these videos, he said, All right, enoughs enough. Never in a million years would I have thought that me just goofing around on the red carpet would have got so much attention, but man its been crazy. And one thing Im not joking about is my love and appreciation for Jamaica, the Jamaican culture.

I just wanted to say thank you, Hanks said. You know its all in good fun. Im a goofball; I goof around. But thats one thing Im not joking about is my love for the Jamaican people, the Jamaican culture.

Before that, Hanks was perhaps best known as one of Hollywoods silver-spoon emceesa celebrity child who seemed to be affecting swagger in a search for identity. (In recent years, his acting careerwhich includes roles on TV series like Empire, Shameless, and Curb Your Enthusiasmhas superseded his music, although he remains active in both.) In 2018 Hanks got sober after years of drug use that, on one occasion in 2015, saw British police looking for Hanks after he trashed a hotel room.

Hanks has attributed his past, frequent use of the N wordboth in his music and on social mediato his former drug use. During an appearance on former TMZ staffer Van Lathans Red Pill podcast, after years of defending his use of the word, Hanks said, I wanted to be, like, down, you know what I mean? I just felt like I wasnt enough… Low-key, like subconsciously, looking back on it now I realize I was trolling.

Hanks said that hed hoped eccentric behavior and wilding the fuck out would jump-start his career. I did the ultimate lame thing, he said. I did the ultimate cornball thing. And that shit wasnt cool.

Perhaps the pandemic has finally allowed Chester Hanks to live more authentically as Chester Hanks. Maybe acting as his parents spokesman has allowed him to process the role their fame has played in his own life. Or maybe its just a matter of time before he busts out the patois again. The possibilities with this man seem endlessbut for now, at least, it seems hes managed to get his messaging just right.

Read more: https://www.thedailybeast.com/coronavirus-how-tom-hanks-and-rita-wilsons-son-chet-haze-became-a-soothing-voice-amid-covid-19


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