An episode of SpongeBob SquarePants which centres around a virus has been dropped due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, a representative from Nickelodeon confirmed.
Speaking to NBC News, David Bittler, the network’s vice president of communications, said “Kwarantined Crab” will no longer be broadcast “due to sensitivities surrounding the global, real-world pandemic.”
The episode in question is from season 12 and is set in The Krusty Krab, the burger joint that SpongeBob works as a fry cook. An inspector informs staff and customers that there has been an outbreak of “Clam Flu”, and everyone has to quarantine inside, kicking off a wave of panic.
This is not the only episode pulled because of the way it has aged. In 2018, the season 3 episode “Mid-Life Crustacean” was pulled because “following a standards review, we determined some story elements were not kid-appropriate,” according to Bittler.
The plot of that episode involves the owner of the Krusty Krab, Mr Krabs, going through a bit of a mid-life crisis and joining SpongeBob and his best pal Patrick on a night-out. The trio ends up illegally entering a woman’s house and taking her underwear. They get busted by the homeowner, who turns out to be Mr Krabs’s mother.
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SpongeBob has just landed on the newly branded Paramount+ streaming service and was touted as a flagship show as a part of the relaunch.