Just when you thought it was safe for a Teletubbie to carry a purse, along comes the Polish children's watchdog Ewa Sowinska to force poor Tinky Winky even further into his closet. The government appointed ombudsman announced she would be investigating the Teletubbies for "a hidden homosexual insinuation."
I hate to be the one to break the news to Ms. Sowinska, but Tinky Winky is also big, purple and has a television in its belly. Since most people seem to assume Tink is male because of how tall the character is, I'd like to point Ms. Sowinska to all of the tall women in the world. Tink also has no genitalia and the show has never commented on whether Tink was supposed to be male or female. (Perhaps because it's a children's show and since the characters aren't humans and don't wear clothes, specifying one or the other could have gotten messy?)
And why do we need to know what gender Tinky Winky identifies with? Don't most of those right-wing nutjobs bitch and moan all the time about, "I don't mind gays, as long as they don't talk about it or flaunt it in front of me..." Tink is the epitome of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
I'd suggest that Ms. Sowinska go pick on a big, furry, purple, make-believe character with-an-antennae-on-its-head-and-a-television-in-its-tummy her own size. And God forbid she see an episode of Family Guy.
When the show was first broadcast in the United States, the late Christian campaigner Jerry Falwell also took exception to Tinky Winky's accessory.
Tinky Winky was "modelling the gay lifestyle", Falwell charged in 1999, unintentionally sparking a rush for Teletubbie merchandise on America's gay scene.