John Roderick, who you may know as Bean Dad, has apologised for his viral Twitter thread in which he tells the story of how he left his daughter, aged 9, without food for six hours by making her struggle to open a can of beans.
Just in case you missed it, we did an entire summary of what the hell is going on in the ‘Bean Dad’ saga, which you can read right here.
The quick summary, however, is that Bean Dad (musician John Roderick) went crazy viral for his tweets, many a meme was created, and then folks online discovered old homophobic, racist and sexist tweets from his account. His band’s music was removed from podcasts, and people were generally angry at the stuff he’s posted online.
Now, there is an official apology, which was posted to the singer’s website.
“I deactivated my Twitter yesterday in a panic. I had to reflect on what I’d done and the hurt I’d caused and my mind was clouded by an unprecedented flow of new information,” he wrote.
“I want to acknowledge and make amends for the injuries I caused. I have many things to atone for. My parenting story’s insensitivity and the legacy of hurtful language in my past are both profound failures. I want to confront them directly.”
Roderick then goes on to explain that the entire experience with his daughter was actually quite playful and joyful. They had allegedly shared a full breakfast together, the mother was in the room the whole time, and they were eating pistachios and doing a puzzle during the whole can-opening process.
“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’.
“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.
Roderick then apologises for creating an image of someone who can be read as an abusive parent, which many people have actually dealt with. According to him, it was never his intention to evoke the nature of someone who deeply abusive, but that he realises his portrayal of himself in the story was deeply problematic.
And then came the address of the problematic tweets of old.
“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.
“I realized, sometime in the early part of the decade, helped by real-life friends and Twitter friends too, that my status as a straight white male didn’t permit me to “repurpose” those slurs as people from disenfranchised communities might do.”
Roderick goes on to express deep regret for the words he has used, and mentions that he couldn’t bear to see close friends of his read those slurs, and approach him in disbelief after considering him to be an ally.
“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.
“I apologise to my partners, my friends, and to all the people affected by my words for the hurt I caused.”