Rapper Chet Haze, the son of actors Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, has passionately defended his use of the n-word.

Chet Haze & The N-Word

Born Chester Hanks, Chet sparked backlash after posting an image on Instagram with a caption that included the n-word. After realizing the controversy his post had caused, Chet, instead of apologizing, dug his heals in and tried to defend and justify his use of the word in a series of follow-up posts on his Instagram, which has since been taken down.

I do say the n word in real life amongst my black friends who get me and can’t nobody tell me I can’t say what the [expletive] I feel like,” Chet wrote. “No disrespect to the struggle of black ppl during the civil rights movement but it’s 2015 now.”

“I don’t accept society getting to decide what ANYBODY can or can’t say. That’s something we call FREE SPEECH,” he added.

According to Hanks, in 2015, the n-word is a word that “unifies the culture of hip-hop” and one that can be used by people of all races within that hip-hop culture.

“Who is to say only black people can use it? The way I see it, it’s a word that unifies the culture of HIP-HOP across ALL RACES, which is actually kind of a beautiful thing,” wrote the 24-year-old.

“You can hate me or love me for it, but can’t nobody tell me what I can or can’t say. It’s got nothing to do with trying to be a thug,” the rapper added. “It’s about the culture of the music. […] It’s all love. Some people will get it, some people won’t. Either way, Ima keep living my life however the [expletive] I want. ALL LOVE.”

In his final message on the matter, Chet posted a video to clarify that he only uses the n-word in friendly conversation with people he knows. In the caption, he said that those who disagree with his use of the racial epithet are free to do so.

“Under no circumstances would I go up to somebody that I didn’t know. It’s an unspoken thing between people who are friends and understand each other,” he said in the video, adding in the caption, “If you still want to be mad, be mad! That’s your right. What people think about me is none of my business. But please don’t act like you know my whole story either!”

Though Chet primarily considers himself a rapper, he has also followed his parents’ footsteps into acting. He’ll next appear in the Fantastic Four reboot as Jimmy Grimm.

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