Ah, shrimp! Paramount+ just pulled two Spongebob Squarepants episodes due to their “inappropriate” storylines.
US viewers have recently been treated to lashings of Spongebob Squarepants on the newly-launched Paramount+ streaming service.
But while they can revisit the underwater city of Bikini Bottom to their heart’s content, there are two episodes off limits.
A representative from Nickelodeon confirmed the news that two episodes titled “Mid-Life Crustacean” and “Kwarantined Krab” had been pulled from the service, owing to their “inappropriate” content.
Two episodes are being shelved
The first episode sees Mr Krabs break into a woman’s house and rummage through her underwear drawer in what was called a “panty raid”, while the second – released pre-pandemic – sees an outbreak of “clam flu” ravage customers of the Krusty Krab, with Bikini Bottom residents forcing the restaurant into quarantine.
Speaking to IGN, a spokesperson for Nickelodeon said they had been taken off the service because they were “not kid-appropriate”.
Addressing one of the episodes in particular, they added: “‘The Kwarantined Krab’ centres on a virus storyline, so we have decided to not air it due to sensitivities surrounding the global, real-world pandemic.”
It is not clear whether the episode will be re-circulated post-pandemic.
“Negative depictions” in The Muppet Show
Back in February, it was announced that rival streaming service, Disney+, was adding a content warning to The Muppet Show, due to “negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures” throughout the series.
The prefaced message adds: “These stereotypes were wrong then and are wrong now. Rather than remove this content, we want to acknowledge its harmful impact, learn from it and spark conversation to create a more inclusive future together.”
While Disney+ did not detail the “negative depictions”, it does appear before before an episode in season five, in which Johnny Cash performs in front of a Confederate flag, which is associated with white supremacy.
In another episode from season three, Spike Milligan dresses in an array of caricatured outfits, including one depicting a Chinese person with a long braid and exaggerated front teeth.
The company has also hired external advisers to assess the content on the platform and whether or not it requires a warning, stating: “Rather than removing this content, we see an opportunity to spark conversation and open dialogue on history that affects us all.”
Spongebob Squarepants is now available to stream in the US on Paramount+.
Image via Alamy