for children's rights had been quoted as saying
she would ask psychologists to investigate whether one of
the characters on the BBC children's show
Teletubbies is gay. On Tuesday, however, she
backed away from her comments.
Poland's ombudsman for children's rights, said in a
Wprost magazine interview that the Teletubbies
character Tinky Winky, who carries a purse, could
possibly be promoting homosexuality.
''I noticed that
he has a purse, but I didn't realize he's a boy,''
Sowinska told the magazine in an interview her office
approved before publication. ''At first I thought that
must be a bother for him. Later I learned that there
could be some hidden homosexual undertones.''
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
however, Sowinska spokeswoman Wieslawa Lipinska told the
Associated Press that Sowinska ''hasn't asked and won't
ask'' psychologists to investigate whether the
show promotes homosexuality. ''They are fictional
characters. They have nothing to do with reality, and
the bag and scissors and other props the fictional
characters use are there to create a fictional world that
speaks to children,'' Lipinska said. ''We are not
going to deal with this issue anymore.''
Sowinska is a
member of the League of Polish Families party, which is
militantly antigay and antiabortion. The party is a junior
member in the coalition government led by Prime
Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski.
controversy erupted in the United States in 1999 when the
late Jerry Falwell suggested Tinky Winky was gay.
In a statement
Tuesday, the BBC denied the allegations against the
to play with bags of all kinds, and this fascination is
reflected in Tinky Winky's favorite thing,'' the BBC said.
''To suggest the series has a political agenda is
simply not true.'' (The Advocate)