BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Entertainment  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Wednesday, 9 October, 2002, 15:44 GMT 16:44 UK
Camp cartoon star 'is not gay'
SpongeBob SquarePants
SpongeBob SquarePants: A hit with adults and children
The creator of one of the most popular new cartoon characters for years, SpongeBob SquarePants, has rejected claims that his cheerful creation is gay.

SpongeBob has become an icon among homosexuals in the United States as well as a huge hit with children, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Who is SpongeBob?
A yellow sea sponge whose home is a giant pineapple
Lives in Bikini Bottom on the bed of the Pacific Ocean
Best friend is pink starfish called Patrick
Likes winding up his neighbour, Squidward Tentacles
Goes to Mrs Puff's Boating School
He holds hands with his pink best friend, lives in an underwater pineapple and gets boating lessons from a teacher called Mrs Puff.

SpongeBob may be "kind of special", but he was not designed to be a gay character, his creator Stephen Hillenburg has told the Wall Street Journal.

The gay community likes the show because it has a tolerant attitude, Mr Hillenburg said.

"Everybody is different, and the show embraces that. The character SpongeBob is an oddball. He's kind of weird, but he's kind of special," he said.

"I always think of them as being somewhat asexual."

Teletubby Tinky Winky
The US religious right said Tinky Winky was gay
SpongeBob is the latest sensation on children's cable channel Nickelodeon, and was recently voted among the top 10 cartoon characters of all time by fans.

His sexuality has become the biggest talking point since US campaigners claimed handbag-carrying Teletubby Tinky Winky, an import from the UK, was a bad role-model.

SpongeBob's innocent optimism, "soft" personality and bright, camp world have endeared him to gay men, the Journal said.

Adult fans

Nickelodeon says the show is not aimed at a homosexual audience, but it is the channel's most popular show with adult viewers.

It may be designed for children between two and 11, but almost one in four viewers is aged between 18 and 49, the paper says.

It is screened at 2330, and at 2300 on MTV, as well as more child-friendly times.

In the UK, the channel said 40% of the show's one million viewers were over 16.

The Wall Street Journal says part of its reported $500m (322m) merchandise sales have come from gay men snapping up branded toys, lunch boxes and even thongs.

See also:

15 Feb 99 | Entertainment
18 Jun 02 | Entertainment
31 Jul 01 | Entertainment
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Entertainment stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Entertainment stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes