30-year-old Chet Hanks has once again found himself at the center of another conversation about his rights, or lack thereof, to imitate a Jamaican accent. Hanks’ take on the matter is that he’s not doing it to offend anyone; however, some critics see his constant use as offensive. How do Jamaicans living on the island feel about this?
The latest discussion took place on the growing audio-only social media platform Clubhouse. According to the son of the famous movie star Tom Hanks, he will still be speaking in the native island tongue. Hanks defended his case using a hypothetical scenario involving himself binge-watching English films.
“Guys, it’s really as simple as this,” he began. “If I get on a binge and I watch a bunch of English gangster movies, and I go around, ordering a coffee at Starbucks and I’m with my friend and I go, ‘Give me a latte, guvna.’ I’m not sh***ing on English people.”
He continued, “It’s not coming from a place of like, ‘Oh, I’m going to s—t on these people. You know what I mean?”
Much like his prior explanation to justify the first time he tried out the accent in public, this one didn’t swing the way he wanted. The chat was shared on Twitter, where users chimed in and reminded Hank that Britain’s history and that of Jamaica and other colonies are very different. “English people were not oppressed,” came many of the comments.
Hank acknowledged the same while reiterating that he was “not trying to offend anybody.”
As mentioned, this is not the first time Hanks is trying the accent. He jokingly used it on the red carpet at the 2020 Golden Globe in January.
“BIG UP FIMI WHOL FAMILY SOON COM AT DI AWARDS NA SEEN. CHUNE IN,” he said.
He received a heavy serving of backlash for the stunt, ultimately forcing him to address the matter on social media, once again defending his use of the Jamaica patios. During a session titled “Chet Chat Vol. VI (Part 2): Cultural Appropriation,” he said,
“If you don’t have a problem with a Black person wearing cowboy hats and cowboys boots and loving country music, then why do you have a problem with white people wearing braids and gold teeth and getting into hip-hop music? It’s this whole idea of theft, of they steal it from us.”
The Jamaican Twitter community usually does a good job at voicing the general tone of how persons feel about a topic, and by the looks of things, Jamaicans are not pressed about the matter and actually welcome the act. The same outstretched hand was given to Adele when she posted an image of herself sporting Bantu knots while wearing a top fashioned off the Jamaican National Flag.
The culture of Jamaica has proven to be a rich and vibrant one, which many people try to emulate. Should all non-Jamaicans, whether black, white, or yellow, refrain from speaking patios or embrace any aspect of the culture? Share your thoughts below as you check out the discussion on Twitter.
Seems African American's(AA) just assumed,all Jamaicans would get offended.When someone likes our culture enough to duplicate it.I have witness AA faking a jamaican accent,in songs & television for years.This isn't a world offense. Now if he is racist, I can dislike him for that!
— E. Darcy (@Samara86790460) December 3, 2020
Because we don’t care people copy our voice all the time cause they think it’s funny ????? it’s not a big deal to us
— Adi (@Adi43331807) December 3, 2020
Couple things here I've been to Jamaica and theirs all shades of Jamaican not just black.
Another thing is this just shows how Reggae still continues to impact and influence the world. I know it can be seen as a culture Vulture move but think how man bands have the Reggae vibe. pic.twitter.com/BGKSjzXGYo
— Ct-Psalm-ist????????? (@ctpsalmist) December 3, 2020
It is the trying to make Jamaicans mad at something they aren't mad about for me.
Is this bullying? Lol.
— A.V. Thee Crafter (@AvDoesWhat) December 3, 2020