Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

I Love You, You Hate Me Director On The Hypocrisy Of Star Wars Fans Bashing Jake Lloyd - Exclusive

The following article contains mentions of mental health and suicidal ideation.

It's no secret that fans can be brutal against the creators and actors of both their most hated and their favorite franchises. Whether it's something they love or hate, the draw to fall into toxic negativity is present more often than not. How many MCU or "Star Wars" projects did fans review bomb even before they were released, especially when a film or TV show focuses on women, LGBTQ+, and non-white leads?

Fans even attack the children of projects they're bashing. Whether it's ridiculing kids who enjoy programs like "Barney" or "Star Wars" fans bullying child actors like Young Anakin actor Jake Lloyd, the repercussions of that hostility can stick with a child forever. Tommy Avallone's documentary "I Love You, You Hate Me" explores this concept through the lens of "Barney" and the phenomenon known as "Barney bashing."

During an exclusive interview with Looper, Tommy Avallone discussed the hypocrisy of "Star Wars" fans bashing Young Anakin actor Jake Lloyd when he was just a child. He also covered why fans seek to find flaws in everything and review bomb things before they've even seen them.

Ruining lives

In the documentary, journalist Gavin Edwards makes the comparison between people having this writhing hatred of Barney and the energy people spend going after actors like Jake Lloyd. Director Tommy Avallone gave Looper his thoughts about why fans review-bomb shows and harass actors. "We wanted to get a little bit more detail in our talking with them, but I was thankful we at least got to do as much as we did because even with two hours, there's still so much you had to put in there."

Avallone noted fans' innate need to preserve their nostalgia and attack anything that might threaten it. "People feel the need to protect their childhood, as if their childhood is all in danger," he explained. "In doing so, particularly for 'Episode I,' 'Star Wars: The Phantom Menace,' Jake Lloyd is maybe eight, a young boy playing Anakin Skywalker. All these 'Star Wars' fans from the original movies are bashing the movie, bashing him and Jar Jar Binks."

People often treat actors as if they're not humans with feelings, and the results can ruin and even threaten someone's life. "The actor for Jar Jar Binks almost killed himself. But particularly, they're saving their childhood. 'You're ruining my childhood, George Lucas.' But in doing so, they actually ruined Jake Lloyd's childhood," Avallone added. "This kid got bashed nonstop [in] high school [and] college. It's very upsetting to see what happened to him all because he did this movie and [the actions of] 'Star Wars' fans."

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by dialing 988 or by calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.

Manufacturing scandal

Later in the interview, Thomas Avallone said, "You mentioned Gavin Edwards. He's a great journalist ... He talked about [how] when there's a character that seems perfect, it reminds us that we aren't."

Even when there's no reason to hate something, people find a way to manufacture scandal, which in turn fuels the feeling of justification for their hatred. "There is this, for some reason, need to break that down to make these almost fake things, urban legends [about] Mister Rogers, [like], 'He had tattoos.' 'He was a military man.' 'He shot children,'" Avallone added. "People made things up about him. Steve from 'Blues Clues' — 'He died of a heroin overdose.' 'He died of a car crash.' Then Barney — 'He killed himself in a suit.' 'He hid drugs in his tail.' 'Play the song backwards; it's satanic.'"

To sum it up, Avallone noted, "There are all these urban legends that people make up to somewhat make [themselves] feel better."

"I Love You, You Hate Me" is now streaming on Peacock.