‘Bean Dad’ John Roderick Apologizes for ‘Insensitive’ Viral Twitter Thread
“Bean Dad” says he's "deeply sorry” and wants to make amends for pain and frustration caused by his recent viral Twitter thread and past tweets.
John Roderick, podcast host and frontman of indie rock band the Long Winters, posted a nearly 1,000-word apology on his website Tuesday (January 5) addressing the immense backlash he received after sharing a story about withholding food from his 9-year-old daughter while she struggled to use a can opener.
In the apology, Roderick said he had been "ignorant" and "insensitive" with the way he had described the incident.
“My story about my daughter and the can of beans was poorly told. 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,” he explained. “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.”
“I framed the story with me as the asshole dad because that’s my comedic persona and my fans and friends know it’s ‘a bit,'” he added.
“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 comedian continued, adding how "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 ... Bean Dad, full of braggadocio and d--khead swagger, was hurting people,” the podcast host acknowledged, admitting he had "conjured an abusive parent that many people recognized from real life.”
After the 32-tweet "Bean Dad" thread went viral over the weekend, users quickly unearthed old anti-Semitic and homophobic tweets from his account. In the apology, Roderick addressed his “lazy and damaging ideology."
“As for the many racist, anti-Semitic, hurtful and slur-filled tweets from my early days on Twitter I can say only this: all of those tweets were intended to be ironic, sarcastic. I thought then that being an ally meant taking the slurs of the oppressors and flipping them to mock racism, sexism, homophobia and bigotry,” he said. ”I am humiliated by my incredibly insensitive use of the language of sexual assault in casual banter. It was a lazy and damaging ideology, that I continued to believe long past the point I should’ve known better that because I was a hipster intellectual from a diverse community it was [okay] for me to joke and deploy slurs in that context. It was not.”
“I’m a middle-aged, middle-class straight white male and I try to be cognizant of that and of the responsibility my privileges entail in everything I do. In this case, it was precisely my privilege of not living in an abusive family, of not being a member of a community that routinely experiences real trauma, that caused me to so grossly misjudge the impact of the language I chose.”
Roderick also revealed that he will be taking time away from his public life to reflect and learn from this experience.