Barney can be your friend, too, if you just make-believe him. But what if you just irrationally hate him?
The two-part limited series premieres October 12 and features a deep dive into the rise and fall of Barney the Dinosaur’s furious backlash — and what it says about the human need to hate, per an official synopsis. 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?
“‘I Love You, You Hate Me’ unpacks how a children’s character who stood for inclusion, understanding, and kindness birthed a movement of anger and criticism that threatened the show, its creators, and their futures,” executive producer Joel Chiodi, head of documentaries and SVP of strategic development at Scout Productions, said. “As it spotlights the beginnings of modern-day 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 lingering impact the ‘Big Purple Dinosaur’ left on American society.”
“I Love You, You Hate Me” is executive produced and directed by Tommy Avallone and produced by Trent Johnson and Scout Productions. Rob Eric, Joel Chiodi, David Collins, Michael Williams, Raymond Esposito, Wendy Greene, and Amy Goodman Kass serve as executive producers.
“Barney came out on television when I was just 10 years old, and I admittedly didn’t understand him. As a teenager, for one of my birthdays, I asked my aunt to make me a Barney costume, so my friends and I could beat him up on camera,” Avallone said of his personal connection to the subject matter. “Several years later, creating this docuseries, it feels good to be on the other side and no longer a Barney hater. Now having children of my own, I understand all the love that went into making the purple dinosaur.”
The series features commentary from former “Barney and Friends” crew members, Bill Nye, Al Roker, and the Barney actor. The documentary also debunks and charts the origin of rumors about Barney having drugs in his tail or there being more sinister intentions for the beloved series.
“I Love You, You Hate Me” premieres October 12 on Peacock.
Check out the trailer below.