SpongeBob Squarepants feels censor’s squeeze

First they came for The Simpsons, and now they want SpongeBob Squarepants.

Ukraine is considering a move to censor several children’s shows after a study from a conservative commission labelled the shows “a real threat” to the country’s youth.

Ukraine’s National Expert Commission for Protecting Public Morality released the report, which attacks several US and international programs as detrimental to the country.

Psychologist Irina Medvédeva is quoted in the study, alleging that children aged 3 to 5 years old “pull faces and make jokes in front of adults they don’t know, laugh out loud and repeat nonsense phrases in a brazen manner” after viewing the shows.

The Ukrainian paper Ukraínskaya Pravda said some of the shows under fire include Family Guy, Futurama, Pokemon, The Simpsons, and Teletubbies, which the report says are, “projects aimed at the destruction of the family, and the promotion of drugs and other vices.”

The Wall Street Journal reported that the study results first appeared on “fringe Catholic website Family Under the Protection of the Holy Virgin”.

While the accusations sound silly, in a 2011 study, a University of Virginia professor said that watching just nine minutes of SpongeBob could adversely affect the attention span and learning abilities of 4-year-olds.

The Ukrainian commission had previously attempted to ban other shows, including The Simpsons.


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