Are you old enough for Spongebob?

More than 2,600 marijuana plants hidden in a house in Almeria Credit: Policia Nacional

CARTOON character Spongebob Squarepants could find himself being banned for young viewers.

Spanish state television company TVE is studying classifying Spongebob Squarepants, shown on its Clan TV children’s channel, as not recommended for under seven-year-olds.

The study comes following a request from Angel Nodal of the Spectators Defence office which has received a number of complaints.

Yago Fandiño, head of Children’s Programmes for Television Española, said that Clan TV was reviewing the cartoon along with others shown on the channel and the new age recommendation was likely to be put into place.

Although the yellow animated sponge is already recommended for over sevens in the US, Fandiño stressed that the age varies from one country to another although a consensus is being searched for.

“Ratings are dynamic, not static, and all television stations are now meeting to review age recommendations,” he explained.

Spongebob Squarepants, Fandiño argued, is a children’s series that plays with parodies, giving the example of an episode that received criticism during which the characters try to bury a health inspector that accidentally dies in a restaurant. “It’s a nod to the situation comedies of the 50s and in the end nothing is as it seems,” he noted.

“In the end there is nothing black or dark about it, although it is true that these storylines may be a little confusing for very young children. When we receive complaints of this type, we usually take the episode off the screens for a while, re-watch it calmly and think about the feedback from the audience,” Fandiño continued.

A recent report on child and youth protection published recently by the Spectators Defence Office gave Spongebob as the programme that sparked the most complaints, including ‘leading towards bad behaviour’ and ‘encouraging terrorism and violence.’

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