Musician and podcast host John Roderick went on Twitter on Jan. 2 to tell his followers about what he thought was a "teaching moment" to his daughter, but he was soon the subject of controversy.
John — who notably hosts the Omnibus podcast with Jeopardy! superstar Ken Jennings — wrote a thread about how he got his 9-year-old daughter to open a can of beans. He did so by, in part, telling her that neither he nor she would get to eat until she figured out how to use a can opener.
While John shared the story to his followers as a lesson on perseverance and independence, many online users began to accuse him of child abuse. The issue ultimately led John to delete his Twitter account, but not before people dug up some of his past content. His feed appeared to feature racial slurs, homophobic messages, and anti-Semitic content.
Continue reading to find out what The Long Winters guitarist initially wrote about his daughter, and why his other posts have people talking.
John Roderick's "Bean Dad" tweets are under fire.
As a podcast personality, John often shares anecdotes about his life, and he has also done this on his Twitter feed. On Jan 2., John created a 23-tweet thread about how his daughter asked him for lunch. After suggesting that she heat up a can of baked beans, John learned that his daughter didn't know how to use a can opener.
John said that he decided to turn this into a life lesson. He told his daughter that she wouldn't get to eat until she learned how to open the can herself. He also refrained from eating in solidarity, and he claimed that it took her six hours to figure it out.
"Sweetheart, neither of us will eat another bite today until we get into this can of beans," he wrote in one tweet.
In the thread, John said that he didn't teach his daughter how to use the device.
Although the end result was that the child learned how to operate a can opener, John did note that there were "tears" along the way. He also said that at one point, she "collapsed in a frustrated heap."
After posting the thread, John changed his Twitter bio to "Bean Dad Since 2021." Many users replied to the thread, and some accused John of "child abuse."
One common source of frustration, which was echoed by actress Patricia Arquette, was that John withheld food from his child after she expressed her hunger.
"You think the can opener experiment was about teaching her something when in fact it's about teaching you something. It's been over 6 hours and you still haven't been able to open that can," the Boyhood actress tweeted in response to John's original thread.
When another user said Patricia "missed the point," the Academy Award winner fired back.
"You missed the point. She was hungry already when she asked for food," she wrote. "There are many ways to teach skills without emotional and physical game playing."
The original tweets on the matter have all been deleted, as John has deactivated his Twitter account. John addressed the controversy a few times before getting rid of his page altogether.
"Somehow my story about teaching my daughter how to work out how to use a can opener and overcome her frustration got over onto a version of Twitter where I'm being accused of child abuse. It's astonishing," he wrote. "My kid is fine everybody."
In another post on the matter, John justified the "on and off" six-hour time lapse.
"The best part about being ratio'd by these parenting concern-trolls is that they keep harping on how depriving my kid of baked beans for SIX HOURS is child abuse. Six hours is the length of time between meals. Lunch at noon, dinner at six," John added. "They're literally saying CHILD ABUSE."
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
John's Omnibus co-host, Ken Jennings, also commented on the issue. He noted that the story was likely exaggerated for "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," the trivia master tweeted on Jan 3. "This site is so dumb."
Users dug up John's old tweets, which further incited controversy.
Oftentimes, when a person is facing contention on Twitter, users will search through past posts to find other instances of controversial content. Following John's "Bean Dad" thread, several accounts began sharing screenshots of some of his older tweets. Most of them were written between 2008 to 2010. They included racial, homophobic, and ableist slurs, messages that were anti-Semitic in nature, and comments about sexual assault.
He also allegedly made jokes about 9/11 survivors.
Because John's Twitter account has been deleted since the controversy began, the screenshots cannot be verified.
A user asked Ken Jennings about John's "weird anti-Semitic s--t." Ken said that the screenshots weren't in line with what he knew about his co-host's point of view.
"If we're word-searching through old tweets now, it's pretty easy to find what he actually thinks about anti-Semitism," Ken tweeted. "On our show he's always the pro-Israel one!"
When the user said that Ken's answer was "the worst response," Ken clarified his comment.
"Yeah, fair enough. How about: there's no axis where any anti-Semitic screenshot represents any actual opinion I've ever heard from him," the Jeopardy! GOAT said.
John has not publicly commented on the resurgence of his alleged past posts.