Hate Movement Against Barney the Purple Dinosaur Explored in New Peacock Docuseries

Bob West, the original voice of the beloved children's character, says he even received death threats from people who hated Barney. He spoke to Inside Edition about what he believes caused the intense backlash.

Barney, the big purple dinosaur, was a children’s TV staple in the 1990s. But though his mantra was “I love you,” not everyone loved him back.

A new docuseries is exploring the disturbing dark side surrounding the beloved children’s character. 

“It wasn’t Barney himself who had a dark side. It was just society that had a dark side. The documentary talks about the folks who had negative reactions to the show and to the character,” Bob West, the original voice of Barney, told Inside Edition.

West says he even got death threats from people.

“There was a group called the ‘Jihad Against Barney.’ Barney was their evil villain,” West said.

Stuffed Barney toys were burned, hacked to pieces and even hung.

The new documentary also explores the personal drama for Barney creator Sheryl Leach. In 2015, her 27-year-old son Patrick was sentenced to 15 years in prison for shooting a man in the chest during a dispute with a neighbor.

West believes the backlash to Barney was actually a backlash to his childhood innocence.

“Barney stood for, and still stands for, inclusion and understanding and compassion and caring for each other,” West said.

“I Love You, You Hate Me” begins streaming Wednesday on NBC’s Peacock.

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