Another day, another extreme Ukrainian Catholic fundamentalist group denouncing "threateningly homosexual" cartoon characters.
In what can only be described as That Complaint We've Heard Every Year Since 1999, a right-wing religious group in Ukraine posted an intense report claiming that children in the country were being frightfully exposed to "homosexuality" in Spongebob Squarepants, "sadism" in Shrek and, of course, all that classic Disney film "pornography" (really, Snow White? Seven dwarves!?). In fact, the allegations from the group (called "Family Under the Protection of the Holy Virgin," obviously) were so heated that the aforementioned cartoons are being investigated for possible censorship by the Ukrainian National Expert Commission for Protecting Public Morality (all the anger of PETA, none of the chinchillas!).
My question is, are we really still having this conversation? Not only that Spongebob is gay, but that he's a scary gay? Maybe pop culture is a little slow in the Ukraine, but I didn't think it was that slow. Spongebob is a paragon of millennial American entertainment, but in the 13 years since the cartoon first debuted, the debate about the khaki-wearing sponge's sexuality has been covered by every major conservative, gay-fearing pundit in our country (and plenty of others). I understand that there are still some slow countries out there who are touting Crossroads as "teen star Britney Spears' next big hit," but worrying that Spongebob's unbridled optimism and asexual tendencies will corrupt our children is so antiquated. It's proven to be about as silly of a fear as fear itself (which, apparently, is the only thing we have to fear, according to someone).
Clearly, one generation made it through over a decade with Spongebob's devious homosexuality looming over them. While we're on the topic, why not add in all those oppressed kids who just barely made it to adulthood after being threatened by the ominous ambiguity offered by Sesame Street's own terrifyingly fey couple Bert and Ernie? Or the children who scraped by without succumbing to the dangers of He-Man, Snagglepuss, Tinky-Winky and Peppermint Patty, arguably pop culture's most alarming lesbian? And since when is Shrek a sadist? He's an ogre, and the last time I checked, there was no Fifty Shades of Shrek BDSM popping up in any of those movies.
And Spongebob. Poor, poor Spongebob. Can't a guy just frolic without everyone thinking he's ruining our youth?
Blow, Spongebob, blow.
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[Photo Credit: Nickelodeon]