Fact Check: The Teletubbies Show Is NOT Based On The Real Story Of 4 Kids

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  • от: Lead Stories автор
Fact Check: The Teletubbies Show Is NOT Based On The Real Story Of 4 Kids No La La Land

Is the Teletubbies show based on the true story of four abused children who all died on the same day in a mental health institution in Bulgaria known as "La La Land?" No, that's not true: Teletubbies was created by Anne Wood and Andrew Davenport for the BBC. The adventures of Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po were meant as an "antidote" to violent children's shows like Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. There has never been a mental health institution for children in Bulgaria named La La Land.

The story appeared in a TikTok video (archived here) published on Aug 6, 2023, with the following Bulgarian caption, translated by Lead Stories staff:

The death of 4 children on the same day inspired the story of Teletubbies, it's darker than you think, so I'll tell you this story...😰

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

Screenshot 2023-08-15 114516.png

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Mon Aug 14 08:45:18 2023 UTC)

The video opened:

It is said that four children who died on the same day inspired the characters of Teletubbies and I will tell you their story. According to this theory, the show was inspired by tragic events at a Bulgarian psychiatric institution called La La Land. It says that the sick children were isolated in dark rooms and abused by the staff. The defacement of Lala's face and her 5 years of isolation inspired the image of Lala.

Screenshot 2023-08-15 124622.png

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Mon Aug 14 09:46:24 2023 UTC)

Moreover, the TikTok video says:

There is also a deaf boy with a deformed face called Theo, who was tied to the fence outdoors, suffering from the frostbite that inspired Tinky Winky.

Screenshot 2023-08-15 125134.png

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Mon Aug 14 09:51:36 2023 UTC)

The TikTok video also shows the picture of a girl and says that this would be a starving and sick girl named Donka "lying in her vomit for days unable to move" and that Donka would have inspired the character of Dipsy of the Teletubbies. The video continues:

And finally, Pauline, fallen into a fire roasted alive, inspired Poe's character.

Screenshot 2023-08-15 130940.png

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Mon Aug 14 10:09:42 2023 UTC)

Besides this, the Tiktok video says:

Why are they called Teletubbies? The children's main source of comfort was the TVs in their rooms, which allowed them to escape for a moment from reality. When they found out that the mental health institution wanted to get rid of the TVs, the kids came up with a desperate plan to hide them. In their distress, they inflicted severe wounds on themselves to hide the miniature televisions that were too large to swallow. They ripped out their entrails to hide them before the guards found them dead in the morning.`

Teletubbies is a children's TV show that was launched in 1997 by Anne Wood and Andrew Davenport, who worked for Ragdoll Productions. The show aimed to offer an alternative to the violent and aggressive shows that were popular among children at the time, such as Power Rangers. The show focused on the positive values of friendship, kindness, and creativity. The show was criticized by some groups who claimed that it promoted homosexuality, subversion, and unhealthy TV habits. Teletubbies also faced controversy for some of its episodes that were seen as inappropriate or disturbing for young audiences. In a BBC documentary called "Big Hug: The Story of the Teletubbies" which was aired in 1998, Anne Wood explained her vision for the series:

I wanted to make a program that had the direct opposite message - that 'big hug' was the event of the day, and loving each other very much mattered.

Another Lead Stories fact check about the children's show can be found here.

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