Teletubbies on Drag Race Raises Concerns

Teletubbies on Drag Race Raises Concerns

The latest episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars featured some special guests, The Teletubbies, however not everyone is pleased.

Following the appearance Drag Race legends Alaska and Willam had something to say about the choice to include them.

And it raised some interesting questions.

Do the Teletubbies belong on Drag Race?

Drag Race has had many special guests over the years.

From Gaga to Miley Cyrus some big names have entered the work room to meet the queens.

However this week saw some very different guests arrive for a mini challenge with the All Stars 9 queens.

Tinky Winky, Dipsy, LaLa and Po made their debut on the program to help the queens win a cash tip for their charity.

All they had to do was dance with the Teletubbies to win.

Whilst it was a light hearted and fun attempt at something different, not everyone saw it as something positive.

Drag Race legends Alaska and Willam recapped the latest episode on their podcast Race Chaser and pointed out some glaring concerns.

Alaska was quick to notice out how strange the appearance was, however it was William who viewed the appearance as detrimental to the LGBTQIA+ community.

“Like this helps with any of the groomers shit” he said of the appearance of the children’s characters.

Willams concerns relate to the growing sentiments internationally and particularly in the US where right wing groups, conservatives and law makers have been targeting the LGBTQIA+ community, particularly drag queens.

Many attempts have been made to implement laws to even prevent drag queens from performing in front of children, accusing them of attempting to groom children.

It is some of these alarming trends that have even inspired RuPaul to create the Drag Defense Fund, which recently raised over $2 million to help counter these attacks.

It was with these concerns in mind that Willam continued.

“This, for me, is bad. Because these are characters marketed towards children. So, if children see this, they’re like: ‘Oh, let me watch’” he lamented.

“This show is not for children. I don’t think that this is a good avenue for [it] to go down.”

Despite his concerns, perhaps their inclusion was a historical nod to the somewhat baffling accusations against the largest of the Teletubbies, Tinky Winky.

From as early as 1998 Tinky Winky faced accusations of being coded as gay within the program.

So much so that televangelist and activist Jeffrey Falwell went on to publish “Parents Alert: Tinky Winky Comes Out of the Closet.”

He claimed that due to his size and voice Tinky Winky was a male, however his colour, purple and the triangle on his head, Falwell claimed, were signs of his homosexuality. Not to mention his big red hand bag that he carried around.

“Little boys running around with purses and acting effeminate and leaving the idea that the masculine male, the feminine female is out, and gay is OK” is something “Christians do not agree with,” he said on the Today show at the time.

So whilst Willams concerns regarding the current climate may be valid, perhaps their inclusion served to highlight the historic nature of these attacks on our community that still continue today.

Has Drag Race jumped the shark?

While Willam was concerned for the show potentially harming community perception, Alaska pointed out just how ridiculous the challenge itself was.

“For some reason, the Teletubbies come on to the show,” she exclaimed.

“it’s just like… are you aware of the phrase jump the shark?” she asked.

“It’s the moment in a show where it goes a little too… off the rails and the show never really comes back after it. I don’t know why the Teletubbies are here.”

She went on to raise the point that the challenge was going so far as to distract from the actual talent of the queens, who were after all brought on board to show their drag skills.

“It feels a little hacky, it feels a little not drag related, we could have used this precious real estate on this show, with these amazing brilliant minds and drag artists.”

“Do something that utilises their fucking essence. We don’t get these people in one room that often. This seems like such a waste of fucking space.”

Whilst Alaska and Willam have had plenty to say on the matter there has not been much backlash from viewers in general, with many pointing out online the Teletubbies association with GLAAD in recent years as well.


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