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The tinky winky scandal The reaction to the Rev Jerry Falwells outing of Tinky Winky the purple Teletubby was widespread with scorn and hilarity Comedians and writers ridiculed Falwell for his paranoia in seeing homosexuals on toddlers television programs When asked about the charge Falwell said he had never seen Teletubbies and didnt know whether Tinky Winky was homosexual or not However the notion of someone attacking a cartoon character is too appealing to be easily abandoned If youve ever watched Teletubbies you might suspect some kind of subliminal messaging The four tubbies have aerials coming out of their spacesuit hoods which receive programming thats broadcast on TV screens on their stomachs As they prance out of their bunker and around the strange apocalyptic land where they live speakers pop out of the ground and feed them orders Its both cute and creepy Is Tinky Winky gay He is not the first cartoon character to be outed At the level of the creators stated intentions the Teletubbies have no sexual orientation The program tries to recreate the world of toddlers which does not involve any level of sexual understanding But TV programs are group products and its not impossible that references--Tinky Winkys favorite thing a red pocket book his purple triangle antenna and the tutu he sometimes wears--are bits of a code included for the benefit of adults Sexual signals can be received without being consciously sent according to Freud The first cartoon characters to be accused of aberrant sexual practices were Batman and Robin In a 1954 book titled Seduction of the Innocent a psychologist named Fred Wertham attacked the sadistic violence and sexual deviance portrayed in comic books Batman and Robin he noted were two men living together who liked to wear capes
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