danger: queer Teletubby!

Doug Henwood dhenwood at panix.com
Wed Feb 10 09:02:50 PST 1999

[Funny he shouldn't be upset about a character with a TV in its stomach.]

Falwell says Teletubby is gay, damaging

(AP).ROANOKE, Va. (AP) - The Rev. Jerry Falwell is trying to out Tinky Winky, suggesting that the purple, purse-toting character on television's popular Teletubbies children's show is gay.

A spokesman for Itsy Bitsy Entertainment Co., which licenses the Teletubbies in the United States, said the purse is actually Tinky Winky's magic bag.

"The fact that he carries a magic bag doesn't make him gay," Steve Rice said. "It's a children's show, folks. To think we would be putting sexual innuendo in a children's show is kind of outlandish."

The February edition of the National Liberty Journal, edited and published by Falwell, contains an article warning parents that the rotund Teletubby with the triangular antenna may be a gay role model. To support its claim, the publication says Tinky Winky has the voice of a boy but carries a purse. "He is purple - the gay-pride color; and his antenna is shaped like a triangle - the gay-pride symbol."

Falwell contends the "subtle depictions" are intentional and issued a statement Tuesday that said, "As a Christian I feel that role modeling the gay lifestyle is damaging to the moral lives of children."

Tinky Winky is the center of Falwell's attack.The British show aimed at toddlers began airing on U.S. public television stations last spring. The Teletubbies are portrayed by actors in oversized, brightly colored costumes. They all have television screens on their tummies.

Rice said Falwell was attacking "something sweet and innocent" to further his conservative political agenda.

Falwell's spokeswoman, Laura Swickard, said the founder of the now-defunct Moral Majority agreed with everything that was in the NLJ article and would not comment beyond his one-paragraph statement.

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