More than eight years after Jerry Falwell took on “The Teletubbies” in the U.S., Poland’s conservative government created a stir last week with suggestions that the kid show might promote homosexuality.
At issue — again — was the bag carried by the purple Tinky Winky.
“At first I thought the purse would prove a burden for this Teletubby,” Ewa Sowniska, spokesperson for the government-appointed children rights watchdog, told a Polish magazine early last week. “Later I learned that this may have a homosexual undertone.”
BBC execs were quick to dismiss the claims. “Children love to play with bags of all kinds. To suggest the series has a political agenda is simply not true,” said a spokesperson.
The Polish government has previously been criticized by the EU for its anti-homosexual stance, including announcements by the education ministry that it would fire teachers deemed to be promoting homosexuality. But Sowniska’s statement was quickly blasted, even by her own party, and after consulting a leading sexologist she had reversed her position by week’s end.
Other officials moved quickly to say “bye-bye” to the controversy.
Parliamentary speaker Ludwig Dorn warned Sowniska to avoid making comments “that turn her department into a laughing stock.”