Barney the purple dinosaur is back – and right-wing trolls are terrified he’s gone ‘woke’

The new Mattel animated Barney dinosaur, holding a progress pride flag, stood against a rainbow background.

Barney, the loveable purple dinosaur of Barney & Friends fame, is making a TV comeback – and the right-wing are worried that he’s going to go “woke”.

Toy company Mattel announced yesterday (13 February) that Barney is to be “yassified” for a 2024 TV reboot, returning in animated form rather than as a man in a costume.

And, not very surprisingly, the first question on the lips of the right-wingers was whether Barney would turn “woke” for the revival.

Brigitte Gabriel, a Trump supporter and the founder of anti-Muslim advocacy group ACT! for America, took time out of her day yesterday to tweet: “Barney is returning. They better not make him woke.”

Click here to join our new PinkNews Alerts WhatsApp group for daily digests of our top LGBTQ+ news and features.

It didn’t take long for the internet to erupt with jibes and questions on whether Barney’s hypothetical wokeness is really worth discussing.

Historian Kevin M Kruse, a professor at the prestigious Princeton University, responded to Gabriel’s tweet, writing: “What’s it like having to get outraged all the time over the stupidest things you can imagine? Aren’t you tired of working yourself into a rage over candy mascots and kids shows? Have you tried picking up a hobby?”

You may like to watch

Kruse was referring to Fox News presenter Tucker Carlson, who frequently rants about M&Ms no longer being sexy

“It truly must be miserable to live like this,” another wrote.

“The inevitable culture war s**t where conservatives have to pretend to care about f**king Barney is going to be so funny,” said a third.

Another wit even suggested that Barney should be “as woke as possible”, just to witness right-wing pundits going crazy.

Perhaps an episode where Barney attends a Black Lives Matter protest, or glues himself to a road in support of climate activism? Will Barney come out as non-binary, or be the mascot for Pride events worldwide?

“Give him top surgery scars,” someone else suggested.

Meanwhile, queer activist Matt Bernstein said: “Hope they make new Barney a polyamorous trans lesbian just for you, Brigitte.”

Another suggestion offered: “I hope Barney is a trans gay man with a septum piercing that teaches kids how to vogue.”

Numerous others have pointed out that perhaps Barney is and always was a little bit woke by right-wing’s standard, considering the original show, which ran until 2010, was about encouraging children to be tolerant and kind to one another.

“Barney’s entire gimmick was love and tolerance no matter who you were, or what you identified as. Makes sense someone on the right wouldn’t know that,” one person said.

Another agreed, writing: “Oh you mean they better not promote inclusion, acceptance and love? Ooh boy, do I got bad news for you about the original Barney broadcast.”

A release date for woke Barney is yet to be announced.