To celebrate pride month, Nickelodeon put out a tweet Saturday in support of the LGBTQ+ community.
That tweet now has social media buzzing about Spongebob Squarepants’ sexual orientation.
“Celebrating #Pride with the LGBTQ+ community and their allies this month and every month,” the network tweeted, along with three photos of characters from its shows. Along with Spongebob, those characters included Avatar Korra from “The Legend of Korra” and Michael D. Cohen from “Henry Danger.”
Cohen has shared that he transitioned from female to male about 20 years ago. Korra identifies as bisexual. That left people on social media questioning if Spongebob is included in the LGBTQ+ community, too.
Shortly after the tweet was put out, TMZ reported based off the tweet that Nickelodeon “officially made the reveal Saturday," further igniting the debate online.
Nickelodeon turned off replies on the tweet, preventing users from leaving comments. However, that didn’t stop people from tweeting about it on their own, leading Spongebob to reach Twitter’s top trending items Saturday night.
In 2005, Stephen Hillenburg, the show’s late creator, addressed rumors about Spongebob’s sexuality. He stated that his agenda does not go beyond entertainment.
“We never intended them to be gay," Hillenburg said. "I consider them to be almost asexual. We’re just trying to be funny and this has got nothing to do with the show.”