Newsweek Nov. 17, 1997

Barney To Chicken: Hands Off
- NOVEMBER 17, 1997 -

Justice file
by Brad Stone
click here for a picture

Kids, can you say "litigate"? The folks who own Barney, Public Television's song-happy purple dinosaur, filed suit last week in Texas federal court against- a chicken. The suit charges The Famous Chicken (a.k.a. Ted Giannoulas) with copyright and trademark infringements. Barney's handlers, the Dallas-based Lyons Group, say they don't like Giannoulas' sparring with a Barney look-alike during his act at sporting events.

According to the suit, The Chicken "would punch, flip, stand on and otherwise assault the putative Barney. " Sort of like what parents do to Barney when the kids aren't looking. The suit seeks at least a $100,000 fine for each violation.
A Barney spokesperson says that kids get upset watching Barney get mauled. Giannoulas says this dinosaur needs thicker skin. He argues that his act is a parody and vows to keep pummeling: "Maybe Barney's new motto should be 'I love you, you love me, I'm so gosh darn sue-happy'. " With lines like that, maybe Giannoulas's fine should be 100 hours of watching Barney.