Popular children’s television network Nickelodeon has pulled an upcoming episode of the massively popular “SpongeBob SquarePants” over concerns of its plot.
An episode of the show’s current season was set to feature a storyline involving a viral outbreak and subsequent quarantine, prompting the network to nix the episode given the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Nickelodeon offered a statement to Deadline regarding the episode, titled “Kwarantined Krab.”
“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,” they said.
According to the outlet, the episode featured a case of the “Clam Flu” being discovered by a health inspector at the Krusty Krab, where the titular sea sponge works. The patrons are all quarantined inside.
It is unclear when the episode was originally set to run. Reps for the network did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
“SpongeBob SquarePants” has been a hugely popular children’s cartoon program since its debut in 1999. The series has been able to branch out into theatrical films, merchandise and even a Broadway musical.
According to Deadline, the show is Viacom’s most widely distributed property in the company’s history. It airs in more than 170 countries and territories and is translated into over 30 languages.
The show averages 100 million total viewers every month.
In 2019, some cast members of the show spoke with Fox News about the impact of the cartoon.
“I think it’s going to go down in history. It’s so hard to think about, like, it’s so surreal honestly,” said Carolyn Lawrence, the voice ov the underwater-dwelling squirrel Sandy Cheeks. “It’s still hard for me … to grasp how large it is. When I travel and you go to other countries and it’s there and people are talking about it and It’s amazing and so if I think about it too much my head explodes.”
Added Clancy Brown, who voices Mr. Krabs: “It’s the best cartoon ever made and It will be the best cartoon ever ever ever. Until the end of Earth.”
Reps for the Network did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
Fox News’ Steve Credo contributed to this report