Speed Reads

'you have the right to be mad at me'

Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson's son doubles down on anti-vaccine stance

Chet Hanks, the son of Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, is doubling down on his declaration that he won't get vaccinated against COVID-19, even after his own parents were hospitalized with the virus last year. 

Hanks this week posted a rant on Instagram declaring he hadn't gotten a COVID-19 vaccine and that "they ain't sticking me with that motherf---ing needle," while falsely claiming the coronavirus is like "the flu." Amid backlash, he followed this up with another anti-vaccine rant and doubled down on his original comments while mocking the outrage over them. 

"Just like you have the right to be mad at me cause I said I'm not going to get the vaccine … I have the right to not get that s---," Hanks said

Hanks also falsely claimed the COVID-19 vaccine is an "experimental government injection" and declared there's "more evidence for UFOs being real than that vaccine being healthy for you." In his prior rant, Hanks initially offered what seemed to be a serious PSA encouraging his followers to get vaccinated, only to interject, "Psych!"

Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson were hospitalized with COVID-19 in March 2020, and in April 2021, Wilson said they would be getting vaccinated once "the next tier" opened up. Last July, Tom Hanks encouraged all Americans to do their part to protect others during the pandemic, including by wearing masks. 

"It's such a small thing," he said. "It's a mystery to me how somehow that has been wiped out of what should be ingrained in the behavior of us all. Simple things. Do your part."