A dad’s supposedly heartless lesson to his daughter on how to use a can opener went viral… but also triggered the wrath of internet ‘warriors,’ with some real-life consequences for their target.
Musician and comedian John Roderick was declared the first “main character” of the new year after a Twitter thread that he posted on January 2 went viral. It tells a story of him denying his nine-year-old daughter food until she discovers how to open a can of beans with a can opener. The supposed “teaching moment” lasted for six hours, wrote the “bean dad”.
The story was taken at face value by many people, who rushed to judge Roderick to be a bad parent and an awful person, who should somehow be held accountable. The man himself has suspended his Twitter account as the stink rose sky-high.
All I’m hearing is “that time I told my dad I was hungry and he wouldn’t let me eat for another six hours for no good reason.”
Like… did you ever go through that as a kid? You go too long hungry and you just feel sick and like you might pass out? No? Then don’t do it to the kid
— Communist Siren ☭ (@a_queer_ius) January 3, 2021
The Bean Apocalypse Dad thing making the rounds today is frustrating as hell. I have an 8 year old and his manual dexterity isn’t nearly developed enough to operate a manual can opener solo, especially with no prior instruction on how to use it properly. Makes me mad.
— Lacy – Host of That’s ProbLITmatic Podcast (@reachwriter) January 3, 2021
The controversy has already affected Roderick’s career in a small way. Popular podcast “My Brother, My Brother and Me” announced it was dropping the theme song written by Roderick “for reasons we’re sure you’re all aware of,” after having used it for over a decade.
The online tone police quickly trawled years of posts on Roderick’s account and discovered a plethora of crude remarks. ‘Bean dad’ was guilty of anti-Semitism, misogyny, racism and every other conceivable sin, the self-appointed jury ruled.
This your boy? pic.twitter.com/Jm66MpQet3
— late-night snack daddy (@coffeedaddyy) January 3, 2021
Some people who know Roderick in person came to his defense. Ken Jennings, the Jeopardy star-player-turned-guest-host, joked he was “extremely jealous” that Roderick “is going to be a dictionary entry and I never will.” The two men co-host a podcast called Omnibus. Jennings assured his online audience that in real life his friend is a loving father and that he likes telling “heightened-for-effect stories about his own irascibility” for comedic effect.
If this reassures anyone, I personally know John to be (a) a loving and attentive dad who (b) tells heightened-for-effect stories about his own irascibility on like ten podcasts a week. This site is so dumb.
— Ken Jennings (@KenJennings) January 3, 2021
Jennings is set to host Jeopardy on January 11, though whether the appointment holds is anyone’s guess at this point. Last year he apologized for his own record of “unartful and insensitive” comedy “If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that we should be kinder to one another. I look forward to heading into 2021 with that in mind,” he said at the time.
If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that we should be kinder to one another. I look forward to heading into 2021 with that in mind. 5/x
— Ken Jennings (@KenJennings) December 30, 2020
Fellow comedian Michael Ian Black said Roderick was “a lovely and funny guy” and called out people attacking him in bad faith. He said he welcomed “whatever abuse you want to hurl at me for speaking up for somebody I like.”
What actually happened between Roderick, his daughter, the beans and the can opener remains shrouded in mystery.
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