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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

"Bye, Bye Falwell!"

Tinky Winky not too sad about Falwell

Had to laugh at this interview by King Kaufman at Salon with the maligned Teletubby, Tinky Winky, whom Jerry Falwell denounced as "representing gays." Remember the hoopla about the Teletubbies, the BBC children's show that ran from 1997 to 2001? Falwell was so sure that one particular colorful Teletubby, Tinky Winky, was part of a subversive campaign to bring homosexuality to children. And what was Falwell's evidence of this nefarious plot? Well, Tinky Winky carried a red purse, and he was purple - the gay pride color - and he had that peculiar triangle on his head - the gay pride symbol. Christian groups in America called for Winky's ouster, citing that he was role-modeling the gay lifestyle.

Kaufman put in a call to Tinky Winky, who, since his run with the Teletubbies, has gone holistic and leads a quiet lifestyle in England. Winky says he doesn't want to talk ill of the dead, but still, he was traumatized by all the ado about his sexuality. "I'm a very private Teletubby. I just wanted to get away, go over the hills and far away. But when you're 7 feet tall and purple with an antenna on your head and a TV screen in your belly, where are you going to go?" Indeed.

Winky did try to call Falwell by way of a peace offering, but the moral majority leader refused to take his calls. "I wanted to know why he didn't talk to me first," Winky says. "It's not like I'm hard to reach. Have the pinwheel call me. But really I just wanted to clap him on the head with Tinky Winky bag." That infamous red bag, again.

As for his life now, Winky does keep in contact with his other Teletubbies, Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po. "We're fine now. We've come to appreciate each other."

When asked about Falwell's death, Winky is a little circumspect. "I'm not going to pretend I'm sadder than I am," he says. "There were late nights during the dark times when I wished to hear news like this. I'd be lying if I denied that. I don't feel that way anymore. I like to think I've grown over the years, gotten past all that pain.

"But at the end of the day, I'm not terribly sad, and I think a lot of people feel the same way. Jerry Falwell was a divisive person, a hateful person, and what I've tried to be all about, in the Teletubbies days and since then, has been love. I've got to keep it that way. I don't want anybody feeling good about it when it's my time for Tubby bye-bye."

Words to live by.


Sharon Cullars Coffee Talk at 5/16/2007 08:12:00 PM Permanent Link     | | Home


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