Patrick Leach, the 27-year-old son of Barney creator, Sheryl Leach, is accused of shooting a California man in the chest. Thankfully, the 49-year-old victim has been treated at a hospital and is expected to recover.
The scandal is beginning to fit into an alarming trend of controversy and criminal activity involving some of our children’s favorite television character. We’re all familiar with the many accusations of sexual abuse levied against Elmo creator and puppeteer Kevin Clash. Jimmy Savile, once thought of as a national treasure in Great Britain before his disturbing history of sexual abuse came to light, is best know for his televisions shows where he worked with children.
Now, it’s another beloved character’s turn in the spotlight. And I have a feeling that we’re going to hear a whole lot of mocking for Barney’s infamous “Happy Family” song. The obvious implication will be that Sheryl Leach must not have been a very good parent if she raised a child capable of attempting to murder another human being.
The sad truth is that these tragedies happen. They could happen to any family. This man was an adult and he is the only one who should be held accountable for his possible horrible decisions.
The Malibu police haven’t said much other than the fact that they have evidence linking Patrick Leach to the shooting. They haven’t released a possible motive or any other details of the case. Thankfully, the victim will be alive and able to share their side of the story with investigators and prosecutors as they go about their job.
While Barney has never been my favorite childhood character, I actually find him hopelessly obnoxious, I hope that this scandal won’t hurt the Barney brand too much. There are plenty of children who adore this lovable dinosaur. The character’s kind demeanor and lessons about sharing and feelings aren’t changed by the actions of one woman’s son.