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Things We Saw Today: The Hate in the New ‘Barney’ Docu-Series Is Not What I Expected

A Barney doll on fire on the road. Image: Peacock.

Created by Sheryl Lyna Stamps Leach, Barney is a cultural icon to many that are younger Millenials and those born after the ’90s. So color me surprised when I see a Barney documentary trailer that shows people hating on one of the nicest anthropomorphic animals in children’s programming history. Sesame Street and more educational-focused children’s programming have always had their detractors for obvious (bigoted) reasons, but my boy B? As a Barney & Friends kid myself, this trailer for Peacock’s two-part docuseries entitled I Love You, You Hate Me was a roller coaster ride from happy to confused to upset and then anger.

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If you’re wondering why Bill Nye the Science Guy is in this trailer, you have to remember that this is a dinosaur we’re talking about, and though Barney began airing about a year before the dino-mania followed the success of Jurassic Park, it was part of that wave of interest in science and science history.

Watching the trailer has me very interested in how big this backlash got (which has its own Wikipedia page) and why it needed two parts to tell what looks like a relatively straightforward story. Looking briefly online, all I see is adults saying the show is the problem behind why Millennials do/don’t do XYZ (even though its height was well into the first few years of Gen Z).

At least one professor noted that parents felt like “no self-respecting second-grader will admit to liking Barney.” Every generation at every transitionary stage to adulthood looks at some media they once loved (or feared) and says, “That’s for babies.” Barney is not unique, and that shame comes from bullying, a.k.a. something B does not tolerate.

I’m going to show up for my favorite purple dinosaur.

(via Vulture, featured image: Peacock)

Here are some other bits of news out there:

  • Non-binary performer from House of the Dragon talks about what it’s like playing a woman on screen. (via Pink News)
  • Sports journalism has peaked with this feature with stone-skipping champion Kurt Steiner. (via Outside)
  • The Oklahoma Legislature attempts to prevent federal funds allocated for healthcare from being used to aid in trans-affirming care. (via ACLU Oklahoma)
  • There are shots of Thor: Love And Thunder out there that would’ve made the movie rated-R says, Christian Bale. (via Inverse)

What online piqued your interest this Wednesday y’all?

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Alyssa Shotwell
(she/her) Award-winning artist and writer with professional experience and education in graphic design, art history, and museum studies. She began her career in journalism in October 2017 when she joined her student newspaper as the Online Editor. This resident of the yeeHaw land spends most of her time drawing, reading and playing the same handful of video games—even as the playtime on Steam reaches the quadruple digits. Currently playing: Baldur's Gate 3 & Oxygen Not Included.

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