Censorship
Advertisement

Teletubbies is a British children's television series created by Anne Wood and Andrew Davenport for the BBC. The programme focuses on four differently coloured characters known as the Teletubbies, named after the television screens on their bellies. Recognised throughout popular culture for the uniquely shaped antenna protruding from the head of each character, the Teletubbies communicate through gibberish, Chinese and were designed to bear resemblance to toddlers.

The series rapidly became a commercial success in Britain and abroad. It won multiple BAFTA awards and was nominated for two Daytime Emmys throughout its run. A single based on the show's theme song reached number 1 in the UK Singles Chart in December 1997 and remained in the Top 75 for 32 weeks, selling over a million copies. By October 2000, the franchise generated over £1 billion ($1.6 billion) in merchandise sales.

Censorship[]

In April 1997, the episode titled "See-Saw" (season 1) aired and featured a sketch about a cut-out lion (voiced by Eric Sykes) chasing a cut-out bear (voiced by Penelope Keith). The sketch was criticised for its unsettling cinematography, music, and character design and was deemed inappropriate for children. It was subsequently banned in several countries. In 2000, a revised version of the sketch was aired with adjusted editing, sound design, and voice acting to improve the tone; both versions have been posted online several times.

The Lion and Bear was never shown in US. (The only way to watch this in the United States is on YouTube), the episodes that did feature the sketch were instead replaced by either another magical event or a dance. This is because it was banned in America by PBS.

Advertisement