John Roderick is the first “canceled” person of 2021 … and it all started with a debate about baked beans.
Roderick — who co-hosts the podcast “Omnibus” with Ken Jennings — recently shared a story on Twitter about his 9-year-old daughter learning how to use a can opener.
In a nutshell: His daughter was hungry, so Roderick told her to make some baked beans. He was surprised to learn his daughter didn’t know how to use a can opener, and believed this would be a good “teaching moment,” according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Through a 23-post thread that has since been deleted, Roderick described how the scenario unfolded, The Wrap reported.
“I said, ‘The little device is designed to do one thing: open cans. Study the parts, study the can, figure out what the can-opener inventor was thinking when they tried to solve this problem,” Roderick wrote, according to The Wrap. “I went back to my jigsaw puzzle. She was next to me grunting and groaning trying to get the thing. I should say that spatial orientation, process visualization and order of operation are not things she… intuits. I knew this would be a challenge. But it was a rainy weekend.”
According to The Wrap, Roderick also told his daughter they wouldn’t eat until she opened the can.
She did manage to get it open — six hours later. Roderick recounted how his daughter cried and collapsed “in a frustrated heap” during that time, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The tone of the story sent Twitter users into a rage. Roderick became known as “bean dad,” and the phrases “She’s 9,” “Apocalypse Dad” and “SIX HOURS” all trended on Sunday, Mashable reported. Several users criticized Roderick’s parenting style, with some even referring to it as “child abuse,” according to the Hollywood Reporter.
“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,” Roderick tweeted, according to THR. “It’s astonishing. My kid is fine everybody.”
But the controversy didn’t end there.
Some people began digging into Roderick’s Twitter history, discovering tweets from years past that include racist and homophobic slurs, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Roderick, who founded the band The Long Winters and was a one-time candidate for Seattle City Council, deleted his Twitter account Sunday afternoon, CNET reported (by Monday afternoon, Roderick’s account had returned). The podcast “My Brother, My Brother and Me” — which uses Roderick’s music for its theme song — announced it would be finding new music, according to Entertainment Weekly.
Some people did come to Roderick’s defense, though. According to BBC News, one Twitter user praised Roderick for teaching his child “independence and personal growth.”
“Extremely jealous and annoyed that my podcast co-host is going to be a dictionary entry and I never will,” Jennings joked, according to Entertainment Weekly.
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
“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,” he continued. “This site is so dumb.”
Jennings’ first episode as “Jeopardy!” host airs Jan. 11. Closing out 2020, the “Jeopardy” legend tweeted: “Sometimes I said dumb things in a dumb way and I want to apologize to people who were (rightfully!) offended. It wasn’t my intention to hurt anyone, but that doesn’t matter: I screwed up, and I’m truly sorry.
“If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that we should be kinder to one another,” he continued. “I look forward to heading into 2021 with that in mind.”