Two episodes of the animated series âSpongeBob SquarePantsâ have been pulled from the Nickelodeon cable network – one due to pandemic sensitivity and another for not being âkid-friendly,â the network said Tuesday.
The cartoon, which debuted in 1999 on Nickelodeon, follows the underwater mishaps of a talking yellow sea sponge named SpongeBob, who works at a fast food restaurant, and his starfish pal Patrick. and other aquatic friends.
One episode, titled “Kwarantined Crab,” centers around a story of the virus, Nickelodeon spokesperson David Bittler said on Tuesday. The episode features a health inspector who visits the fast food restaurant where the main character works and discovers a case of “clam flu”.
The episode “was never scheduled to be susceptible to last year’s pandemic outbreak,” Bittler said on Tuesday.
Another episode, “Mid-Life Crustacean,” was pulled from network rotation in 2018 “following a standards review in which we determined certain elements of the story were unsuitable for children, âMr. Bittler said.
This episode followed another character, Mr. Krabs, the owner of the fast food restaurant, who feels old and asks SpongeBob and Patrick if he can join them for a crazy night out, according to IMDb.com. The trio burst into a woman’s house and take her underwear. CNN reported on the removal of the episodes on Tuesday. The episode “Mid-Life Crustacean” is also no longer on Amazon.
The news of the episodes deletion came at a time when other streaming platforms and publishers sought to give audiences context for older movies, TV shows, and books that contain offensive content.
Last week, a children’s graphic novel by the creator of the popular “Captain Underpants” series was withdrawn from circulation by its publisher, Scholastic, who said the book featured images and tropes – including Asian stereotypes – that perpetuate “passive racism”.
The decision to withdraw the book came days after a man opened fire on three massage companies in and around Atlanta, killing eight people, including six women of Asian descent.
Earlier this month, after wrestling episodes from WWE started moving to Peacock, NBCUniversal’s new streaming service, the racist moments were removed from the old episodes. A 1990 episode featured a confrontation between Roddy Piper, a white wrestler, and Bad News Brown, a black wrestler. Mr. Piper appeared at the match with half of his face painted black.
Also this month, Dr Seuss’ estate announced that six of his books would no longer be published because they contained depictions of “hurtful and wrong” groups.