The Last Word: Teletubby Says We Weren't Gay

By Lucas Grindley

Originally published on Advocate.com May 30 2012 1:51 PM ET

The woman who donned a yellow Teletubby costume for all those years on television has finally spoken out against claims from the late '90s by Jerry Falwell that the characters had a gay agenda.

Nikky Smedley, who played Laa-Laa until the show's final episode aired in 2002, told the Telegraph in London that the Teletubbies weren't gay at all.

"I think it's embarrassing for the people who said it," Smedley told the newspaper. "What kind of person can take the obvious innocence and turn it into something else? We were hardly sexual beings."

That person was Falwell, the now-deceased founder of the Moral Majority and Liberty University — where Mitt Romney recently gave a commencement address and denounced marriage equality.

Falwell had claimed that the purple Teletubby known as Tinky Winky was gay because of its color, its triangle antenna, and a purse that Tinky Winky carried. The religious right has a long and continuing history, from Teletubbies to Glee, of attacking television shows it believes are trying to "indoctrinate" children.