In spring of 2021, Chet Hanks, A-list actor Tom Hanks’ mischievous yet lovable 31-year-old son, coined a phrase that swept the nation: White Boy Summer. It was optimistic, light-hearted, and a much needed offering of levity in a time reeling from lockdowns, civil unrest, and social media frenzies.
Chet Hanks debuted as a curator of the vibes, putting a wholesome spin on rapper Megan Thee Stallion’s pre-COVID single “Hot Girl Summer” featuring Nicki Minaj and Ty Dolla Sign. Chet announced that White Boy Summer prohibited the color salmon, wearing boat shoes, and the practice of calling women “smoke shows.”
In April 2021, he released a rap song titled after the phrase, with awe-inspiring lyrics like “F— it, turn it up, the beat in my headphones (Just a little bit) / F— it, White Boy Summer (Hey, I’m really rich).” Soulja Boy saw promise in Chet’s budding rap career and signed him onto his record label, Stacks on Deck Entertainment in August 2021. As of late, Chet has veered into online fitness coaching with his own private training app.
To no one’s surprise in our new age of puritanical repression and strictly enforced joylessness, Chet’s big plans for last Summer were rained on by a flurry of accusations that White Boy Summer was loaded with misogyny and racial vitriol. Chet is under fire once again for introducing the WBS meme as summer 2022 quickly approaches.
He recently appeared on Ziwe, a late-night variety show on Showtime hosted by comedian and social media influencer Ziwe Fumudoh. Ziwe put Chet in the hot seat, expecting him to answer for his actions once and for all. The charge? Free-spirited boisterousness. The jury? The comments section.
Ziwe styles her show to make the most of awkward pauses. In their one-on-one interview, she asked Chet whether he felt compelled to apologize to any marginalized communities, referencing the controversy over his habit of sporting a Jamaican accent in videos online. Chet maintained his composure, shaking his head and saying “No, I don’t feel like I’ve truly done anything offensive.” After satirical interjections from Ziwe and a casual sip of water, he went on to say, “Social justice warriors can kick rocks.”
Ziwe went on to ask how White Boy Summer would be different from the past four hundred summers in our nation’s history, and asked Chet if he is afraid of black women. Her last ditch efforts to catch her guest off guard failed miserably, and here is why: Chet is presenting a long-awaited alternative to stuffy, grievance-driven finger wagging.
One commenter under the interview clip declared that Chet has “laid the blueprint for how celebrities should react to wokeness.” Another defended the rapper, saying, “Leave Chet alone. He’s not hurting anyone. Just having a good time which is what SJWs can never seem to do.” Chet showed some rare courage in the face of the cancel culture mob, and hopefully other public figures will follow suit.
In denying the opportunity to apologize for his politically incorrect missteps and off-the-wall jokes, Chet revealed that he’s a lot smarter than the audience might assume. He saw through what appeared to be an offer of repentance for what it actually was: a trap to drag his reputation further downwards and punish him for an attempt at sincerity.
If last summer didn’t pan out as well as it could have, this upcoming summer is the time for White Boy Summer’s potential to be realized. The vibes have officially shifted. We control the narrative now.