Barney was everywhere when I was growing up. But despite the purple dinosaur’s simple message of love and understanding, what I remember most was how much everyone over the age of ten seemed to hate Barney. It went beyond that at times, some people just seemed to downright loathe the character. Peacock has released one trailer to i love you you hate me a two-part documentary that chronicles the rise and fall of the furious backlash against Barney and what it says about the human need to hate.
Barney & Friends was created by Sheryl Leach and premiered on PBS in 1992 and ended in 2010, and while I was aware of the backlash against the show, the documentary trailer proves I didn’t know the half of it. Bob West, who originally voiced the character, reveals in the trailer that he actually received death threats against him and his entire family. “‘I Love You, You Hate Me’ tells how a child character who stood for inclusion, understanding and kindness spawned a movement of anger and criticism that threatened the show, its creators and their future,executive producer Joel Chiodi, head of documentaries and SVP of strategic development at Scout Productions, said. “While spotlighting the beginnings of modern hate culture, this documentary traces the creation of the character and how it took a toll on the people closest to it, examining the surprising and enduring impact that the ‘Big Purple Dinosaur ‘ left on American society.“
It looks like Barney is having something of a comeback; in addition to the documentary there is also a movie in the works of none other than Daniel Kaluuya (Go out). “Barney taught us, ‘I love you, you love me. Won’t you say you love me too?’ It’s one of the first songs I remember, and what happens when it’s not true?Kaluuya said. “I thought it was really heartbreaking. I have no idea why, but it feels like it makes sense. It feels like there is something unexpected that can be poignant but upbeat. Especially at this time, I think it’s really, really necessary.“
The official synopsis for I love you, you hate me:
I Love You, You Hate Me is a limited series that chronicles the rise and fall of Barney the Dinosaur’s furious backlash—and what it says about the human need to hate. From Barney bashing to frat parties to murderous video games, something in American society broke into a million pieces and it’s never been put back together… or is that just who we were all along?
I love you, you hate me will debut at Peacock on October 12.