Peacock just released a trailer for its “Barney & Friends” documentary series, “I Love You, You Hate Me” — and it’s brutal.
“Barney & Friends,” a children’s television phenomenon that aired for 14 seasons, from 1992 to 2010, drew the attention of countless children who turned to the lovable purple dinosaur for such life lessons as forgiveness and sharing.
But now the darker side of the amiable Tyrannosaurus rex’s image, including death threats surrounding the show and how the character became a catalyst for hate, is being exposed.
“Why does the world love to hate?” the trailer asks before firing off examples of the visceral backlash against the costumed character over the years.
“Some of the rumors I heard: Barney hides drugs in his tail,” says one man in the promo.
Bob West, a performer who starred as Barney, revealed just how serious the rumors became, eventually leading to wildly unsettling death threats against his family.
“They were violent and explicit, death and dismemberment of my family,” he recalled. “They were going to come and find me, and they were going to kill me.”
The series was directed by Tommy Avallone of “The Bill Murray Stories,” who recently told People about the personal connection he has to the long-running TV dinosaur who captured the hearts of millions of children.
“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,” he told People.
He added, “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.”
“I Love You, You Hate Me” will premiere Oct. 12 on Peacock.