An episode of Sponge Bob SquarePants where the characters are forced to quarantine inside the Krusty Krab after someone falls out with “Clam Flu” being pulled from streaming due to concerns that the storyline isn’t appropriate given the current global pandemic. But it’s not the only episode of the animated children’s series to have the wind in its sails. Nickelodeon shot two Sponge Bob SquarePants episodes over concerns about their storylines.
Nickelodeon has decided to pull “Kwarantined Crab,” an episode from the show’s 12th season, over concerns that the virus-focused plotline will no longer be a fun, carefree story for kids given the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. . The episode will no longer air on Nickelodeon and has been removed from the Paramount+ and Amazon streaming platforms.
“We have decided not to air it due to sensitivities surrounding the global and real world pandemic,” a Nickelodeon spokesperson told CNN Business.
In the episode, a health inspector quarantines diners and employees at the Krusty Krab following an outbreak of “Clam Flu”. As fear sets in during quarantine, characters suspected of carrying the invented virus are shamed, ostracized, and forced into self-isolation in a refrigerator by others. And while Sponge Bob SquarePants is a fictional series – and this particular episode was written long before the coronavirus pandemic – it’s hard not to see some real-life parallels.
Along with a reported increase in prejudice and attacks against members of Asian communities, the coronavirus pandemic has also led to stigmatization of those exposed to the virus. In May, The New York Times spoke to COVID-19 survivors who said they were discharged well after doctors gave them a clean bill of health. In November, medical workers serving on the front lines of the pandemic said family and friends at Healthline shunned them because of the potential exposure of their work. So it’s not entirely surprising that Nickelodeon is reluctant to continue airing “Kwarantined Crab.”
The second Sponge Bob SquarePants The episode to be officially pulled from streaming is “Mid-Life Crustacean”, an episode from Season 3. In the episode, Mr. Krabs joins SpongeBob and Patrick for a night of hijinks in Bikini Bottom. The trio break into a house where they steal a pair of women’s underwear. They are quickly caught by the owner of the underwear, who turns out to be Mr. Krab’s own mother. Nickelodeon executive vice president of communications David Bittler told NBC News that a standards review determined that some story elements of the episode were not appropriate for children.
Both episodes were removed from Paramount+, and “Mid-Life Crustacean” was removed from Amazon Prime Video, which streams the show’s first six seasons.