Two episodes of “SpongeBob SquarePants” were removed from Paramount+ and Amazon streaming services because of inappropriate content, Nickelodeon said Tuesday.
One episode was jettisoned due to sensitivity related to the COVID-19 pandemic, while the other was removed for not being “kid-appropriate,” The New York Times reported.
One episode, “Kwarantined Crab,” is from the show’s 12th season, CNN reported. The storyline centers around a virus, David Bittler, a spokesman for Nickelodeon, told the Times. The episode features a health inspector who visits the Krusty Krab fast-food restaurant and finds a case of the “clam flu.” The health inspector quarantines the patrons, and those who are assumed to have the virus are shunned and tossed in a freezer, CNN reported.
The episode “was never put on the schedule to be sensitive to the pandemic outbreak last year,” Bittler told the Times.
The removal of the “Kwarantined Crab” also comes during a time of increased anti-Asian violence in the United States and just two weeks after eight people were killed at three Atlanta-area spas. Six of the people killed were of Asian descent.
Another episode, “Mid-Life Crustacean,” was removed from rotation on the network in 2018, the newspaper reported. The episode was removed “following a standards review in which we determined some story elements were not kid-appropriate,” Bittler told the Times.
Mr. Krabs, the owner of the fast-food restaurant, is feeling old and asks SpongeBob and his sidekick, Patrick, if he can join them on “a wild night out,” according to IMDb.com. The trio breaks into a woman’s house and takes her underwear, CNN reported.
“We determined some story elements were not kid-appropriate,” a Nickelodeon spokesperson told CNN.