A virus-themed episode of SpongeBob SquarePants has been pulled from Nickelodeon due to “sensitivities” surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the episode, titled “Kwarantined Crab,” a health inspector discovers an outbreak of the “Clam Flu” at the Krusty Krab restaurant, where SpongeBob works. All the patrons are then forced to quarantine inside, while anyone thought to have the virus is thrown in a freezer.
“The ‘Kwarantined Crab’ centers on a virus storyline, so we have decided to not air it due to sensitivities surrounding the global, real-world pandemic,” Nickelodeon said in a statement.
The Season 12 episode of the animated series originally aired in Feb. 2020, just one month prior to the nationwide shutdown.
Nickelodeon also confirmed that another episode of the series, “Mid-Life Crustacean,” has been out of rotation since 2018 after determining that “some story elements were not kid-appropriate.”
That episode features SpongeBob and his best friend Patrick having a wild night out with SpongeBob’s boss, Mr. Krabs. The evening concludes with the trio breaking into a woman’s home and stealing her underwear.
Both episodes of the animated show are no longer available on Paramount+ and Amazon.
Last September, Adult Swim removed episodes of three animated series — Aqua Teen Hunger Force, The Boondocks, and The Shivering Truth — from HBO Max and its own website “due to cultural sensitivities.” Those shows were pulled over the offensive nature of their content, which included racial stereotypes.
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