Podcast host and frontman of indie rock band the Long Winters, John Roderick, posted a nearly 1,000-word apology on Tuesday (January 5) addressing the severe backlash he received after sharing a story about withholding food (beans) from his 9-year-old daughter.
Roderick goes on to admit how he had been “ignorant” and “insensitive” with how he described the incident.
“My story about my daughter and the can of beans was poorly told. I didn’t share how much laughing we were doing, how we had a bowl of pistachios between us all day as we worked on the problem, or that we’d both had a full breakfast together a few hours before,” he shared. “Her mother was in the room with us all day and alternately laughing at us and telling us to be quiet while she worked on her laptop. We all took turns on the jigsaw puzzle.”
“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,'” he added.
“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 comedian continued, adding how “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 … Bean Dad, full of braggadocio and d–khead swagger, was hurting people,” he said, admitting how he “conjured an abusive parent that many people recognized from real life.”
After the 32-tweet “Bean Dad” thread went viral, users quickly discovered past ignorant and grossly offensive tweets on his account. Roderick also addressed this in his apology.
“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,” he said. “I am humiliated by my incredibly insensitive use of the language of sexual assault in casual banter. It was a lazy and damaging ideology, that I continued to believe long past the point I should’ve known better that because I was a hipster intellectual from a diverse community it was [okay] for me to joke and deploy slurs in that context. It was not.”
“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. In this case, it was precisely my privilege of not living in an abusive family, of not being a member of a community that routinely experiences real trauma, that caused me to so grossly misjudge the impact of the language I chose.”
Roderick ended the post saying he will be taking time off from his public life to reflect and learn from the experience.
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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