Poland backs off 'Teletubbies' gay probe

Anthony Cuesta | June 01, 2007

Poland's watchdog for children's rights was quoted as saying she would ask psychologists to investigate whether the Teletubbies character Tinky Winky is gay. Yesterday, according to the Associated Press, she decided to back off.

Ewa Sowinska, Ombudsman for Children's Rights, said the purse-carrying character on the British Broadcasting Corp.'s Teletubbies children's show could promote homosexuality.

"I noticed (Tinky Winky) has a lady's purse, but I didn't realize he's a boy,” Sowinksa told weekly magazine Wprost. "At first I thought the purse would be a burden for this Teletubby ... Later I learned that this may have a homosexual undertone."

The AP reports that Sowinska said she would ask her office's psychologists to look into the allegations "and judge whether it can be shown on public television and whether the suggested problem really exists."

Poland's rightist government has upset human rights groups and drawn criticism within the European Union by apparent discrimination against homosexuals.

Yesterday, however, Sowinska's spokeswoman, Wieslawa Lipinska, told the AP that Sowinska "hasn't asked and won't ask" psychologists to investigate whether Teletubbies promote homosexuality.

Sowinska is a member of the League of Polish Families party, which is militantly anti-gay rights and anti-abortion. The party is a junior member in the coalition government led by Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski. – Issued by Gay Link Content

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