Nickelodeon have confirmed that SpongeBob SquarePants is part of the LGBTQ community in a new tweet celebrating Pride Month.
The network tweeted a photo of SpongeBob alongside other queer characters, Henry Danger‘s Schwoz Schwartz and Korra from Avatar: The Last Airbender spin-off Legends of Korra, writing: “Celebrating #Pride with the LGBTQ+ community and their allies this month and every month.”
— Nickelodeon (@Nickelodeon) June 13, 2020
Fans have been sharing their reactions to the news on social media, one writing: “SPONGEBOB GAY, WE STAN A QUEEN WHO WEARS CORAL BLUE.”
WE STAN A QUEEN WHO WEARS CORAL BLUE #3 pic.twitter.com/sNTPclXRyh
— Crispy – Black Lives Matter (@TheChrisPavon) June 13, 2020
“They said spongebob gay then LEFT THE ROOM,” another added.
they said spongebob gay then LEFT THE ROOM https://t.co/B85V6wp9NJ
— soildweller (@soildweller) June 13, 2020
spongebob is asexual biromantic, thank you for coming to my tedtalk. pic.twitter.com/3K5wJDdBE4
— 𝖛𝖊𝖊 (@banditovee) June 13, 2020
Everyone who is "shocked" that SpongeBob is gay doesn't remember this episode pic.twitter.com/dQ08Ai39H7
— week old beer (@babyfino) June 14, 2020
Sponge Bob is gay.
— Lewis | #GirlLikeMe 19th|06|20 (@Shak_Supreme) June 14, 2020
Last year, SpongeBob SquarePants was labelled ‘violent’ and ‘racist’ by a University professor, saying that the show normalises and enforces tropes about the colonisation of indigenous lands in the USA.
The professor’s claim was based on Bikini Bottom, the underwater city in which SpongeBob lives. She says that the fictional city is based on the Bikini Atoll coral reef, set off the Marshall Islands in the Pacific Ocean.
SpongeBob creator Stephen Hillenburg died in 2018 from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), which he was diagnosed with the year before. He was 57 years old.
Beck was amongst the artists and celebrities paying tribute to Hillenburg, revealing that he created the artwork for Beck’s first ever releases.
SpongeBob SquarePants first hit screens in 1999, with over 250 episodes being aired since.