Who is Crackhead Barney? Viral ‘ambush interviewer’ behind the Alec Baldwin phone-slapping incident

Content creator is a satirical performance artist known for confronting political and public figures

Ellie Muir
Thursday 25 April 2024 11:27 BST
'Why did you kill that lady?': Alec Baldwin berated by 'ambush interviewer' in shop

Many people are wondering about the identity of “ambush interviewer” Crackhead Barney after a video of her confronting actor Alec Baldwin in a New York coffee shop went viral.

Crackhead Barney, who is often described as a performance artist and content creator, filmed herself confronting Baldwin over the fatal 2021 shooting on the set of Rust, as well as his stance on Israel.

“Why did you kill that lady? You killed that lady and got no jail time,” she said in the clip that went viral on Tuesday (23 April). She was seemingly referring to the late cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, who died on the set of the western film when a gun held by Baldwin discharged a live bullet during rehearsal.

She then repeatedly asked the actor to say “free Palestine” and “f*** Israel”. Baldwin then knocked her phone out of her hand before the recording ended.

Who is Crackhead Barney?

Crackhead Barney is often seen carrying a microphone and ambushing different politicians and public figures about topics including the Israel-Hamas war, transgender rights and far-right US government policies.

When she approached Baldwin, she wore a children’s costume of the purple dinosaur TV character Barney, a bubblegum pink wig, with white body paint on her body and face. She sometimes wears a rubber mask that resembles Donald Trump’s face.

Crackhead Barney recently ambushed a press conference given by New York Mayor Eric Adams, interrupting him mid-speech to ask: “Are you a dirty cop?”

She then approached another politician and asked: “Are you scared of a Black girl with powder on her tits? You can’t be scared of a Black girl with powder on her tits!”

In another viral clip, she approaches a man in a crowd wearing a T-shirt that reads: “Proud Infidel.” The exchange escalates into a heated argument and the pair then start exchanging lewd insults such as “Suck my d***.”

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In another video posted this week, she tells American commentator Andrew Giuliani: “I’m a gay homo Hamas w****.”

When interviewed on Fox News earlier this year, she was asked if Joe Biden has her vote, to which she replied: “No he does not.” When pressed for an answer as to what candidate would be getting her vote, she replied “This does” before lifting up her vest and exposing her breasts to the camera.

She has also previously been seen interviewing Trump supporters at MAGA demonstrations and arguing with them. In other clips, she is seen attending pro-Israel marches and shouting “Free Palestine”.

In an interview published in Metal magazine in 2021, Crackhead Barney was referred to as a satirical performance artist. She admitted she doesn’t like to give away many details about her life but said she was born and raised in Jamaica, Queens, New York City.

Crackhead Barney attends FRIEZE Week in Los Angeles in 2022
Crackhead Barney attends FRIEZE Week in Los Angeles in 2022 (Getty)

“Want to know my background?” she said. “I’m upset right now, I’m an alien from Mars, and I feel like I give you all you need to know about me from my performance art. That’s it, next question.”

Explaining the reasoning behind her name, she said: “A few years ago I used to dress up in a Barney costume, like the kids’ show, and harass tourists and strangers on the street in New York. But the f***ing idiots from Amazon sent that s*** with one eye missing, f***ing idiots sent it to me with one eye!

“And so when I would finish performing and start to walk away people would be like, ‘That’s not Barney – that’s Crackhead Barney!” I guess they called me crackhead Barney because I’m skinnier than the real Barney, or maybe because I’m Black. If I was a white woman would they still call me crackhead? I never knew. If I was white they would probably call me Queen Barney.”

In an interview with a website called Bowie published in June 2023, the author wrote that Crackhead Barney is an “incendiary personality who fearlessly confronts extremists from far-right movements in her artistic performance”.

Asked whether she was frightened of getting into dangerous or violent situations through her sometimes confrontational performance art, she replied: “Scared? Me? Nah, I thrive on danger, I like trouble and I like problems and I just love the contrast of me and them, they’re like serious conservative and I’m me.

“I really like the whole idea of me going to these far right protests and just f***ing with them.”

When asked what she wants people to feel when they watch her videos, she replied: “I want people to vomit.”

“I want people to be disgusted by me. That’s really the main point,” she said. “I want people to be like, this is the worst f***ing [YouTube] channel on the internet.”

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