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Overview

Bean Dad refers to musician and podcaster John Roderick who on January 2nd, 2021, tweeted a lengthy thread telling the story of when his 9-year-old daughter asked him to open a can of beans but he insisted she figure out how to open it herself using a can opener. Six hours after she first made the request, she figured out how to use the can opener and opened it. While Roderick tweeted the story as though it were a proud parenting moment, many criticized the story for teaching poor lessons to the daughter with some going so far as to call it abuse and others made jokes about the story. The thread also led people to discover some of Roderick's old tweets which featured problematic statements on a number of topics, leading to podcast My Brother, My Brother and Me to announce they would no longer use Roderick's song "It's a Departure" as the theme song for their podcast.


Background

On January 2nd, 2021, John Roderick tweeted a lengthy thread telling the story of how his daughter wanted him to open a can of beans.[1] Seeing this as a teachable moment, Roderick encouraged his daughter to figure out how to open the can herself with a can opener. Six hours after the daughter made the request, not all of which was spent on the can, she figured out how to open it (story shown below).


Developments

The story was widely mocked and criticized on Twitter. Some felt that Roderick was teaching his daughter poor life lessons. User @JohannesEvans[2] posted a list of poor lessons he believed the anecdote displayed, gaining over 2,000 retweets and 13,000 likes (shown below, left). User @Jewish_activist[3] stated that the story was reminiscent of child abuse stories they'd heard (shown below, right).

There were many jokes related to the story posted on Twitter throughout January 3rd, 2021. For example, user @dinosaurthe3rd[4] edited the story to fit a scene from Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, gaining over 1,900 retweets and 14,000 likes (shown below, left). User @thejoannagraham[5] posted an Are Ya Winning Son? edit based on the story, gaining over 7,600 retweets and 63,000 likes (shown below, right).


Past Problematic Tweets

Amidst the backlash and jokes about Roderick's story, some users pointed out problematic tweets he'd made in the past.[6] User @veryheathmiller[7] tweeted screenshots of some of the tweets, which include Roderick saying "I'm going to rape you next time I see you. Bad rape, not funny rape" and "The 4th has been perverted by activist (Jew) judges and mud-people apologists. The Founders intended the USA as a white homeland." This led the podcast My Brother, My Brother and Me, which had been using Roderick's song "It's a Departure" as their theme song for a decade, to announce they'd stop using the song going forward.[8]



Former Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings, who had been co-hosting the podcast Omnibus with Roderick, stepped in to defend Roderick amidst the controversy. Jennings wrote, "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." When confronted with Roderick's anti-semitic tweets, Jennings said that on their podcast, Roderick is "always the pro-Israel one."[9]


Roderick deleted his Twitter account amidst the blowback from his Bean Dad story and resurfacing of his old tweets.


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