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Two ‘SpongeBob SquarePants’ episodes pulled from Nickelodeon

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Two episodes from the children’s cartoon “Spongebob Squarepants” have been pulled by Nickelodeon.

Nickelodeon has pulled an episode of SpongeBob Squarepants “due to sensitivities surrounding the global, real-world pandemic,” Nickelodeon’s Executive Vice President of Communications David Bittler said. The episode, titled “Kwarantined Crab,” features a virus storyline, where a health inspector requires patrons to quarantine at the Krusty Krab after discovering a “clam flu” virus.

Nickelodeon confirmed that a second episode, “Mid-Life Crustacean,” has also been removed from the network and other streaming platforms. In the episode, SpongeBob, his friend Patrick and SpongeBob’s boss Mr. Krabs, break into a woman’s house and steal her underwear.

Bittler said the episode was pulled in 2018 “following a standards review in which we determined some story elements were not kid-appropriate.”

Newsmax host Sean Spicer reacted to the news on Thursday’s episode of “Spicer & Co.”

“I get this feeling that people are waking up in America now and going, ‘What can I cancel out? What can I complain about? What can I find a problem with?” Spicer said.

“I get it, there are things that are wrong and we need to right those, but it’s like now everybody is walking around on eggshells about something that was said 20-30 years ago.”

Recently, other children’s material has been reexamined for offensive content. Six Dr. Seuss books will no longer be published due to racial imagery and a “Captain Underpants” book has also been pulled for perpetuating “passive racism.”

Follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy

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Pope Francis calls for universal ban on ‘so-called surrogate motherhood’

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Pope Francis called for a universal ban on surrogacy, likening the practice as an unborn child “turned into an object of trafficking.”

“I consider despicable the practice of so-called surrogate motherhood, which represents a grave violation of the dignity of the woman and the child, based on the exploitation of situations of the mother’s material needs,” Francis said in a speech to the Holy See on Monday.

The “uterus for rent” process, as Francis has called it, was estimated to bring in $14 billion in the U.S. in 2022, and is projected to grow to a $129 billion market by 2032. National Review reports Individual surrogacies can cost anywhere from $60,000 to $200,000 plus in the U.S. Rising infertility rates, an increase in the number of fertility clinics, and “sedentary lifestyles” contribute to surrogacy’s recent popularity, according to Global Market Insights.

“A child is always a gift and never the basis of a commercial contract,” Francis continued. “Consequently, I express my hope for an effort by the international community to prohibit this practice universally.”

Surrogacy is already banned in many European countries. In the United States, commercial surrogacy, or for-profit surrogacy, is legal in some states, and the practice has been used by celebrities who are very public with their decision to use surrogacy.

Altruistic surrogacy, the method by which a woman carries another person’s child for no official compensation, is legal in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, South Africa, Greece, and Iceland, according to the National Institutes of Health.

The speech was about threats to peace and human dignity. “A child is always a gift and never the basis of a commercial contract,” Francis continued. “Consequently, I express my hope for an effort by the international community to prohibit this practice universally.”

Francis also listed Russia’s war on Ukraine, the Israel-Hamas war, climate change, and increased weapons production as great threats to peace on Monday.

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