In a new Instagram video, Chet Hanks — son of Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson — has shared that he’s tired of wearing masks during the pandemic and downplays the coronavirus as “the flu.”
Chet Hanks begins his anti-vaxx message seemingly encouraging people to trust the long-standing science around vaccines and falsely claiming that he had COVID-19. “I’ve been on the fence about this for a while, that’s why I never spoke on it,” he says. “But with the amount of people I know recently that have gotten COVID, and with the numbers rising, I think it’s important for me to say I got the vaccine, I think everybody should. It’s really important that we all do this.”
He then immediately pivots to mocking his initial comments, which echo the sentiments of other Hollywood stars, including his parents, around the importance of vaccination. In the brief video, which he captions “SUPER IMPORTANT PSA GUYS LETS GET THRU THIS TOGETHER,” he reveals his previous admission that he contracted COVID-19 was a lie and expresses that he won’t be stuck with a vaccination needle before likening COVID-19 — which has killed over 617,000 Americans — to the flu.
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I never had COVID. Y’all ain’t sticking me with that motherfucking needle,” he says. “It’s the motherfucking flu. Get over it, OK? If you’re sick, stay inside. OK, why we working around y’all? If you’re in danger, stay your ass inside. I’m tired of wearing a motherfucking mask.”
Both Tom Hanks and Wilson were among the first Hollywood actors at the start of the pandemic to reveal they had contracted the coronavirus. In a post shared to his own Instagram back in March 2020, the Oscar-winning actor, who was then busy filming Baz Luhrmann’s currently untitled Elvis Presley movie, wrote that he and Wilson had “felt a bit tired, like we had colds, and some body aches” with her experiencing chills, as well as both having slight fevers before being testing and confirming they had COVID while in Australia. Wilson had played the Sydney Opera House and was on tour for her latest album, “Halfway to Home” just a day before the two had begun to experience symptoms.
The duo were “tested, observed and isolated for as long as public health and safety requires” according to Tom Hanks’ post. In a social media update, Tom Hanks reiterated that he and Wilson were isolating and that it was important to follow the advice of medical experts. “There are those for whom it could lead to a very serious illness. We are taking it one-day-at-a-time. There are things we can all do to get through this by following the advice of experts and taking care of ourselves and each other, no?”
In an interview with Today in April of 2021, Wilson said that she and Tom Hanks had yet to get the vaccine because they didn’t meet the age requirements, but were in line “because so many people are vaccinated and they’re opening up to the next tier.” She also spoke about the experience of carrying antibodies, calling it “extraordinary because you knew you had some protection. That’s why the vaccine is also helping people.”
“To witness people hugging each other for the first time in a year, grandparents hugging their grandchildren, people hugging their parents, there’s nothing like that,” she said. “That is truly a gift.”
Then in May, just over a year after the Hollywood couple had tested positive for COVID, Wilson reflected on the experience on her own Instagram, sharing that the two were grateful for the medical care they had received in Queensland, while also noting the loss of life around the virus. “We 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 wrote.
The Hollywood Reporter has reached out to Chet Hanks, Tom Hanks and Wilson’s reps.