Over the weekend of I watched the documentary “I Love You, You Hate Me” about the children’s TV show “Barney and Friends” — yes that’s BARNEY! The purple dinosaur. If you haven’t seen this documentary yet you totally should watch it, we all watched or remember “Barney.” I remember people not liking Barney back in the day but, I don’t remember, or didn’t know, all the hate surrounding the purple dinosaur.
I also didn’t realize the connections to Shreveport and the ArkLaTex that “Barney and Friends” had. Barney was created by a teacher in the Dallas area named Sheryl Leach, whose story alone is fascinating and tragic. She created Barney for her son, – her son Patrick Leach ended up shooting his neighbor and served some prison time as an adult – and Sheryl’s marriage ended during the success of Barney and after the divorce her then ex-husband, and Patricks dad, committed suicide.
Barney and Friends was essentially headquartered in Dallas until the branding and rights were sold after Sheryl Leach said she wanted out of the company and brand.
Another connection to our area is right here in Shreveport. One of the child actors, Rickey Carter, is actually a Shreveport native. His “Barney Wiki Fandom” page says:
Rickey Lynn Carter (born November 9, 1981 in Shreveport, Louisiana) is an American rapper and former actor. Later, he moved from Shreveport to North Dallas, Texas with his mother. At a young age, Carter was an actor on the children’s television series Barney & Friends and the preceding Barney & The Backyard Gang videos portraying as “Derek“.
Carter retired from acting in 1995. As a teen, he sold drugs and he became a father to a daughter when he was seventeen-years-old. Carter is currently a rapper under the name Gifted Tha Go-Gita
You can follow Rickey here on Facebook.
Another random fact about “Barney and Friends” now music superstars and Dallas area natives Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez also starred on “Barney and Friends”