The New York Times reports that execs at ABC put the nix on a song-and-dance number Oscar presenter Robin Williams planned to perform before announcing the winner of Best Animated Feature. Though it gave hosting duties to controversial comedian Chris Rock, the network was reportedly unwilling to let Williams push the envelope by lampooning the attacks on SpongeBob SquarePants’ sexuality.
To poke fun at conservative critic James C. Dobson, who recently attempted to out SpongeBob and other Nickelodoen characters, Williams had a song crafted by composer Marc Shaiman, who wrote tunes for previous Oscar ceremonies and such films as South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut. Williams planned to move from Nick’s popular sea sponge and take shots at other cartoon characters, painting Sleeping Beauty as a pill popper, Pocahontas as a compulsive gambler, Casper as a member of the Ku Klux Klan, Olive Oyl as an anorexic and Betty Boop as a Beverly Hills hooker.
Dissatisfied over the political and sometimes sexual nature of the lyrics, standards and practices at ABC reportedly called for changes and cuts that Shaiman and partner Scott Wittman were unwilling to make. The song was then cut completely, leaving Williams to do a series of toned-down jokes on the secret lives of Hollywood toons.