LOS ANGELES, Calif. (WKRN) — Children’s network Nickelodeon is celebrating Pride Month, and in a tweet Saturday hinted that a certain absorbent yellow sponge who lives in a pineapple under the sea might be part of the LGBTQ+ community.
The network posted pictures of at least two characters who identify as LGBTQ+, including Avatar Korra, from “The Legend of Korra,” who identifies as bisexual, and actor Michael D. Cohen, from Henry Danger, who reportedly transitioned from female to male two decades ago.
Twitter was abuzz Saturday when Nickelodeon posted an artist’s rainbow-colored Spongebob, fueling the rumors again that the character is gay. Nickelodeon did not confirm nor deny this, and comments for the tweet were turned off.
In a 2002 interview, creator Stephen Hillenberg denied Spongebob was gay — widely rumored for years — stating the cartoon character was “asexual.” Hillenburg died in 2018.
Nickelodeon, owned by ViacomCBS, has also been a vocal supporter for the Black Lives Matter movement during recent unrest and racial tension after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis while in police custody.
The animated series, “SpongeBob SquarePants,” which debuted on the network on May 1, 1999, has had 12 seasons of over 265 episodes, with four specials and two motion pictures. A third movie, “The Spongebob Movie: Sponge On The Run,” is set to be released in August.