It feels safe to say that if you weren’t one of the many that was cheering or lamenting the downfall of the Teletubbies that you didn’t care about them one way or the other. The general feeling of many in regards to this popular children’s show was that they were insanely creepy, but to some, they were simply fun and engaging for young kids that didn’t know any better. But there are many people that might want to credit evangelist Jerry Falwell for their downfall since his anti-LGBTQ+ views concerning one of them might have been among the reasons that the show was eventually taken off the air, or it could have just been time for the show to finally say goodbye. It was a gold mine for a while to be perfectly honest since like many fads it came on strong and managed to create a great deal of buzz among parents as they plopped their kids in front of the TV to learn from another bunch of individuals in colorful suits that could grab and keep the attention of their kids for an hour or so. But depending on your stance on these colorful creatures with TVs in their stomachs, they were a bit odd and a little creepy. The fact that they’re off the TV doesn’t mean they’re gone for good since their induction into the world of pop culture took place a little over two decades ago, and it’s easy to assume that they’re not going anywhere permanently since they’re a part of memory now, and therefore bound to stay.
Looking back it’s still easy to say that they’re a bit creepy, but when compared to many other kids shows the Teletubbies are, well, they’re still creepy, but that would mean that Barney, Thomas the Tank Engine, and quite a few other shows would fall under this designation as well since the idea of creating anything with the capability of speech, expression, and emotion that’s not human should create the same effect. The truth is however that the Teletubbies are among the few ideas that have been maligned in such a way, and usually because they did appear rather odd and were thought to be saying things that might not have been considered a part of polite society. Given that some of what they said was utter gibberish it’s hard to take such complaints seriously since the Teletubbies were intended for children, not rational-minded adults that would read too much into anything and everything they heard or saw. One reason they might have seen their show canceled is that many adults are a bit thin-skinned when it comes to their children and what they allow them to watch. That’s not to say that kids should be allowed to watch anything and everything that doesn’t hold with a parent’s values, but banning one thing and then allowing something similar into the home is an example of hypocrisy at its finest since nitpicking over various details instead of taking something for what it is and explaining to a child certain aspects of the show is rather common.
That’s the thing, kids loved this show, but adults found it strange, awkward, and even a bit unnerving. Perhaps if the adults had taken the time to really understand what it was all about they might not have been so unsettled by it. With all due respect to Jerry Falwell, this wouldn’t have been the first time that he’d stumbled when trying to assert his views when talking about something that he didn’t fully understand or comprehend, or particularly like. Unfortunately, that attitude was picked up by many of his followers and many other people that felt the same way about the Teletubbies since eventually they were looked at by many adults, not unlike colorful, fuzzy monsters that would gladly assault their children’s senses and, possibly, their children since the outcry that there was something wrong with people that dressed up in suits to entertain children was felt far and wide. People should be able to remember that even the famous Mr. Rogers, who was as wholesome as they come and didn’t wear a suit, was thought to be someone who would prey on children at one point. Thankfully all of these rumors turned out to be untrue, but the Teletubbies weren’t spared from the stories any more than anyone else was over the years, and while this wasn’t likely what took them off the TV, it’s still one of the many swirling rumors that fed the current that contributed to the lack of trust that a lot of parents held towards the strange creatures.
Personally, I wasn’t a fan of the show since yes, they are kind of creepy, but the very prominent feeling that is raised when something is considered a threat, the herd mentality of it, is more troubling than the cause could ever be.
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