I Love You, You Hate Me Trailer: Barney The Dinosaur Gets A Docuseries In The Vein Of Feels Good Man

As a kid of the 1990s, it is impossible to explain the impact Barney the Dinosaur had on my own upbringing and the childhoods of the generations of children that followed. The giant purple singing dinosaur quickly became a beloved hero for toddlers and elementary school-aged kiddos everywhere, with educational messages about emotions, friendship, compassion, and basic academics hidden through song and dance. The dinosaur sensation was a children's entertainment paladin that rivaled Big Bird and Elmo on "Sesame Street," and his loving message, and the earworm of the "I Love You" song, made him a hero to little viewers all around the globe.

It also quickly turned Barney into a conduit for hatred, as conspiracy theories and violent subversions of the show's characters were brought into the fold by people desperate to put an end to the character. In a new 2-part docuseries for Peacock, "I Love You, You Hate Me" looks to explore the cultural rise and fall of an American icon, and the way a well-intentioned symbol of empathy became one of the most despised figures in pop culture. 

Directed by Tommy Avallone ("I Am Santa Claus," "The Bill Murray Stories: Life Lessons Learned from a Mythical Man"), the new series includes interviews with various members of the cast and creatives behind "Barney & Friends" and "Barney & The Backyard Gang," as well as those who can provide expertise on just how the most lovable anthropomorphic dinosaur became the central focus for the ire and hatred of so many.

Watch the trailer for I Love You, You Hate Me

The trailer for "I Love You, You Hate Me" evokes a similar feeling to 2020's "Feels Good Man," a documentary about how artist Matt Furie's comic "Boys Club" was co-opted into a symbol of the alt-right. 

In the official press release about the film, director Tommy Avallone admitted that he was a former participant in the Barney hatred, only changing his feelings after having a child of his own. "Barney came out on television when I was just 10 years old, and I admittedly didn't understand him," he said. "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." The violent vitriol spat at Barney was extremely common, and I have distinct memories of children beating up Barney stuffies on the playground for being "a baby's toy," clearly a learned behavior from adults.

"Several years later, creating this docuseries, it feels good to be on the other side and no longer a Barney hater," Avallone continued. The series looks at Barney as one of the earliest victims of our current wave of "hate culture," looking at how the way people turned on the character whose only crime was teaching children to love their fellow humans has left a lingering impact on those who worked on the series and American society as a whole.

"I Love You, You Hate Me" will air on Peacock on Wednesday, October 12, 2022.