29 Sep, 2022

Life-sized purple dinosaur Barney is one of the symbols that defined a lot of people’s childhoods. His happy songs, dance-alongs and positive messages suggest that the love he spread would be returned but upcoming docu-series I Love You, You Hate Me depicts the opposite.

The trailer for the show dropped on Wednesday announcing that the limited series will chronicle the rise and fall of Barney the Dinosaur’s intense backlash and what it says about the human need to hate. “From Barney-bashing to frat parties to homicidal video games, something in American society broke into a million pieces, and it’s never been put together again… or is this just who we were all along?” read the caption.

“What colour is happier than purple?” one of the interviewees asked in the minute-and-a-half long trailer. Calling the iconic dinosaur a “cultural phenomenon”, they said that the creator intended for Barney to stand for “inclusion, acceptance”. Yet, after the character took off, there was backlash. From rumours suggesting that “Barney hides drugs in his tail” to death threats to the actor’s family, there is clearly a “dark side” that needs to be discussed.

From Bill Nye the Science Guy to NBC’s Al Roker, people shared stories of how quickly the world turned against the friendly dinosaur. Bob West, a Barney performer who stepped into costume, talked about the death threats made against his entire family. “They were violent and explicit, death and dismemberment of my family,” he said in the trailer. “They were gonna come and find me, and they were going to kill me.”

The Peacock docu-series was first announced in November and hails from Scout Productions, who also produced Queer Eye. The two-part show is set to premiere on October 12.