John Roderick became #Bean Dad on Twitter a few days ago–already paving a memorable start to 2021. But as charming as the name sounds, the title was not a kind one to the trending individual.
In a series of tweets, Roderick recollected on a time his 9-year-old daughter required his help opening a can of beans with a can opener. Instead of opening it for her, he took upon the opportunity to attempt to teach her–first telling her about the can opener and its parts. She eventually got it–six hours later. Twitter erupted in response to this behavior–with one user stating that he should “feed her, then teach.” Words like “She’s 9” and all-caps “SIX HOURS” trended on the platform.
In response, Roderick –who is an American musician part of the rock band The Long Winters–stated on his Twitter that “the only thing people are touchier about than parenting style is dog ownership.”
But eventually, on January 5th, he extended an apology on his website. He said that he deactivated his Twitter the day before to think and reflect–apologizing for the insensitive way he told the story and how he’s used hurtful language in the past.
Teaching my boys how to feed themselves pic.twitter.com/AyTlyTq9U4— Fanya, am verfremdetsten (@Haggazussa) January 3, 2021
For starters, he cleared up the foggy waters a bit when he said that his daughter and him were sharing laughs and even had pistachios between them. Further, they had breakfast just a few hours prior to opening the beans. He acted the brash way he did because it was his comedic flair–even one user on Twitter stated that “long-time listeners [of Roderick’s podcast] would recognize [the story] as both joke and self defacing.” Still, he apologized because his behavior to some could be reminiscent of memories with an abusive parent.
Further, he apologized for the “many racist, anti-Semitic, hurtful and slur-filled tweets from [his] early days on Twitter,” stating that his usage of them–though ironic–was not his right to claim as they were damaging to individuals of more marginalized communities.
Even then, not everyone received him with open arms. One Twitter user stated that “‘i thought being an ally meant using slurs but in a cool way’ is the funniest apology.”
The podcast “My Brother, My Brother, and Me” announced that it would no longer use Roderick’s music as they’ve done for almost a decade.
With the immediacy social platforms like Twitter has to offer, one can also recognize how simple it is to find all of one’s actions unfurled in front of them for all to see. Fallouts with the community can be easy and swift–with apologies not as efficient with people, either. In fact, such unappealing behavior could be even more unraveling as Bean Dad’s history was when individuals spilled the beans on him. Even something as multifaceted as parenting can warrant passionate responses. Perhaps the answer for Bean Dad would be the same one he gifted to his daughter–trial and error.