Tinky-Winky Controversy Revived in Poland

Many scoffed in 1999 when the late Jerry Falwell’s magazine proposed that Tinky-Winky, a character on the “Teletubbies” children’s show, was intended as a gay role model, but recently the Polish government’s advocate for children said that she would be looking into the possibility of “hidden homosexual undertones” in the form of the character’s handbag. Ewa Sowinska backed away from the warning this week, but at least one American religious-right activist is defending her proposed investigation as a “legitimate inquiry.”

Allen Carlson of the Howard Center said, “I don’t think anyone doubts that the creators of Tinky Winky intentionally were using stereotypes regarding homosexuality in creating this character.” Carlson praised Poland for “erring on the side of protecting children from harmful propaganda generated by the sexual revolution.”

Carlson support for reactionary anti-gay policies from the Polish government should be no surprise. Last month, Carlson organized the so-called World Congress of Families in Warsaw, where he and other speakers – including a U.S. State Department official – praised the Polish government for its efforts, in the words of the country’s education minister, to combat the “propagation of homosexual culture.”

As Robert Knight of the Media Research Center declared of a Poland standing alone in Europe,

This is a nation that has suffered enormously over many decades. First from Nazism and then communism. They’re a tough bunch of people who appear to have the strength to resist especially the homosexual agenda. If you’ve been victim of communists and Nazis, you’re not going to run in fright from the forces from San Francisco.

From communism to Nazism to “the forces from San Francisco” – and now to Tinky Winky.