Jerry Falwell and Tinky Winky
Mr. Falwell, it says, "once criticized the children's show 'The Teletubbies' because he thought one of the four colorful, non-human characters - Tinky Winky, the purple one with the red bag - might be gay."
That is inaccurate. In 1999, that Tinky Winky story did appear in a publication that the minister published, but an editor submitted it, not Jerry Falwell. Moreover, it was certainly not the first time that the character's sexual orientation was the subject of media speculation:From Time magazine: “In the past five years, several movies, plays, tabloid shows and famous cross-dressers like RuPaul have moved from the fringes of gay culture to prime time. Even Teletubbies, a show for toddlers, features Tinky Winky, a boy who carries a red patent-leather purse.”
From People magazine: “Gay men have made the purse-toting Tinky Winky a camp icon.”
From the Washington Post: “Tinky Winky, the gay ‘Telletubby. . .'”
As a leader of the Religious Right, Reverend Falwell will be widely excoriated over the next few days. Not much will be made of the fact his church operated a home for unwed mothers, a facility for alcoholics and drug addicts, and an AIDS hospice.
May he rest in peace.