TINKY WINKY GAY?

04/27/1999 at 12:00 AM EDT

The Rev. Jerry Falwell is trying to out Tinky Winky, suggesting that the purple, purse-toting character -- with a triangle over his head -- on TV's popular "Teletubbies" children's show is gay. The February edition of the National Liberty Journal, edited and published by Falwell, contains an article warning parents that the rotund Teletubby with the triangular antenna may be a gay role model. To support its claim, the publication says Tinky Winky has the voice of a boy but carries a purse. "He is purple -- the gay-pride color; and his antenna is shaped like a triangle -- the gay-pride symbol." A spokesman for Itsy Bitsy Entertainment Co., which licenses the Teletubbies in the United States, said the purse is actually Tinky Winky's magic bag. "The fact that he carries a magic bag doesn't make him gay," Steve Rice said. "It's a children's show, folks. To think we would be putting sexual innuendo in a children's show is kind of outlandish."

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