Spongebob SquarePants has had been involved in a few scandals over the past months, being branded as "racist", "violent" and just an all-around bad guy... Who knew a sponge could be on the receiving end of so much backlash? Anyway, his new movie has been pulled from theatres, but the reason behind it is not what you're suspecting...

Read on to find out why the creators have opted for this controversial decision.

Spongebob Squareparents is one of the most famous kids shows on television.

via: IMDB

We don't know about you, but tuning in to watch the drama of Bikini Bottom unfold pretty much sums up our entire childhoods.

And who can forget the iconic title sequence?

It's pretty much ingrained in our heads...

The show made its small screen debut on Nickelodeon on May 1st of 1999.

The popular cartoon has run for an impressive 250 episodes since then.

It far exceeded expectations...

The enduring fame of SpongeBob shocked many. It became an instant hit with kids, but the show’s sneaky, subversive adult humor also made it watchable for parents. It was a win-win for moms and dads everywhere!

Impressively, SpongeBob was the fifth longest-running show in US TV history.

via: IMDB

Set in the fictional town of Bikini Bottom – somewhere ‘under the sea’ in the Pacific Ocean, the show follows a group of friends and their enemies.

First off, there's SpongeBob, Patrick, and Squidward...

This trio are the most central characters to the show's plot, which aims to educate young people while keeping them laughing and entertained. But there’s also the underwater squirrel, Sandy, and of course Mr Krabbs and his rivalry with Plankton over the secret ingredient to the famed Krabby Patty.

The show was created by Steven Hillenburg.

Hillenburg began his animation career in 1987, studying Experimental Animation at the California Institute of Arts in Valencia before he earned his Master of Fine Arts in 1992.

From there, he began winning awards and became a director and writer on Nickelodeon’s Rocko’s Modern Life...

via: Twitter

This was before he began working full-time on writing, producing, and directing the animated series that would eventually become SpongeBob SquarePants. Sadly, he tragically passed away last year, aged fifty-seven.

Given the renowned success of Hillenburg's creation, it was only a matter of time before it got the big-screen treatment.

via: IMDB

Bikini Bottom first made its box office debut in 2004 with aptly named The SpongeBob Squarepants Movie. The movie was a hit, grossing an impressive $140 million in global revenue.

Spongebob and the gang returned to the big screen in 2015.

via: IMDB

The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out of Water hoped to give the franchise a boost and it certainly did the trick, taking home a respectable $323 million at the global box office. It also showcased Spongebob and Co in a newly re-vamped 3D animated form.

So it's safe to say...

That SpongeBob SquarePants is a pretty big deal.

And the cartoon is a huge hit with fans...

But in more recent times, it seems that certain people have found some things very wrong with the show.

A professor has previously made some bold claims about the cartoon...

via: IMDB

And she has accused it of being "violent" and "racist" - which is a very topical subject at the moment.

The comparison's she made were scary indeed...

According to the New York Post, the mythological town of Bikini Bottom was paralleled to the aftermath of the Second World War, in which the US military moved natives off a constituent island of the Marshall Islands named Bikini Atoll so as to test nuclear weapons in the area. Yikes.

Bikini Atoll and a number of its neighboring islands remain too contaminated for habitation today...

Barker’s article appeared in journal The Contemporary Pacific: A Journal of Island Affairs under the title "Unsettling SpongeBob And The Legacies Of Violence On Bikini Bottom." "Billions of people around the globe are well-acquainted with SpongeBob Squarepants and the antics of the title character and his friends on Bikini Bottom," she wrote.

The professor feels that Bikini Bottom "normalizes" this problematic fact...

via: IMDB

"By the same token, there is an absence of public discourse about the whitewashing of violent American military activities through SpongeBob’s occupation and reclaiming of the bottom of Bikini Atoll’s lagoon," Barker said. "SpongeBob Squarepants and his friends play a role in normalizing the settler-colonial takings of indigenous lands while erasing the ancestral Bikinian people from their nonfictional homeland."

Barker finalized by saying:

via: IMDB

"Despite being presented as a nonsensical and harmless cartoon, SpongeBob shapes global perceptions of the actual place called Bikini and calls it 'disturbing' that the show’s creators did not understand that Bikini Bottom and Bikini Atoll were not theirs for the taking." These are some very bold claims.

And now news has reached us that the new Spongebob movie has been pulled from theatres.

via: Getty Images

But despite what you may think, considering that a lot of people actually agreed with the professor, it had nothing to do with those scandals the sponge found himself being associated with.

Paramount has decided to move The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run to an online release.

With minimal other details surrounding this new film, including the release date, it seems that they're doing their best to keep the fine print a secret.

But we do have a little inkling...

According to Comicbook.com, it should be available to stream online on CBS All Access in early 2021.

Marc DeBevoise, president and CEO of ViacomCBS Digital, released this statement:

“We are thrilled to have The Spongebob Movie: Sponge on the Run, a premier, first-run movie from one of ViacomCBS’ biggest brands, join CBS All Access’ expanding slate of franchise content from across ViacomCBS."

He continued:

“This launch will be perfectly timed with our continued expansion and planned to rebrand of the service in early 2021, as we welcome SpongeBob and the gang from Bikini Bottom to the service in the biggest way possible."

The news comes after other major production companies have pulled similar stunts.

Warner Bros and Universal have both decided that rather than putting family fun shows through theatre during a pandemic, they would much rather just allow them to be streamed online.

So keep your eyes peeled...

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run will be available early next year. Keep scrolling to learn about how some people's Spongebob obsession can make them go viral...