John Roderick attained a new celebrity over the New Year’s weekend due to a story he shared on Twitter. The Long Winters’ musician told a story about teaching his daughter how to use a can opener. Many criticized Roderick for forcing the girl to figure it out for herself. They suggested he should have helepd her. They also worried she went hungry until she opened the can, and dubbed him Bean Dad.
After the Bean Dad thread upset people, more previous tweets came to light in which Roderick used racist language. Roderick posted an apology on his website on Jan. 5 in which he attempted to explain the infamous thread in better context, and apologize for prior insensitivity.
‘Bean Dad’ John Roderick assures readers his daughter was never hungry
Roderick deleted his Twitter account after the backlash his Bean Dad story received. In his apology, Roderick said he delighted it in a panic and wanted to make amends. First, with regards to his daughter, Roderick assured readers she was having fun and well-fed.
“My story about my daughter and the can of beans was poorly told,” Roderick wrote. “I didn’t share how much laughing we were doing, how we had a bowl of pistachios between us all day as we worked on the problem, or that we’d both had a full breakfast together a few hours before. Her mother was in the room with us all day and alternately laughing at us and telling us to be quiet while she worked on her laptop. We all took turns on the jigsaw puzzle.”
‘Bean Dad’ was part of a bit John Roderick was doing
Roderick further clarified that he often portrays himself as “the *sshole dad” as a comic persona. When the Bean Dad thread went viral, Roderick realized how it appeared to new readers.
What I didn’t understand when posting that story, was that a lot of the language I used reminded people very viscerally of abuse they’d experienced at the hand of a parent. The idea that I would withhold food from her, or force her to solve a puzzle while she cried, or bind her to the task for hours without a break all were images of child abuse that affected many people very deeply. Rereading my story, I can see what I’d done. I was ignorant, insensitive to the message that my ‘pedant dad’ comedic persona was indistinguishable from how abusive dads act, talk and think.
John Roderick apologizes for the racist tweets too
Roderick apologized for constructing the persona of an abusive parent and reminding others of abuse they had experienced. He apologized for adding negativity to the world, for not taking the reaction seriously at first and for deleting his Twitter account.
He also addressed the anti-Semitic, sexist, racist, homophobic and otherwise offensive tweets from before Bean Dad. Those, too, were a comedic bit, Roderick explained. In his attempt to mock offensive terminology, Roderick realized he was still engaging in it.
“That was wrong, so I stopped,” Roderick wrote. “My language wasn’t appropriate then or now and reflecting on that has been part of my continuing education as an adult who wants to be a good ally. That education is ongoing, and this experience will have a profound effect on the way I conduct myself throughout the rest of my life.”
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