More Michael Jackson Fallout: This Time, the Simpsons

Producer cites Leaving Neverland documentary in yanking episode that featured the singer
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 8, 2019 12:03 AM CST
Simpsons Is Pulling Michael Jackson Episode
Michael Jackson delivers a speech to fans during "Fan Appreciation Day" in Tokyo Friday, March 9, 2007.   (AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye)

Six months ago, Matt Groening proudly confirmed that Michael Jackson had voiced a character in a 1991 episode of The Simpsons. Now, after allegations of child sexual abuse in the searing documentary Leaving Neverland, it's an episode the show would like to forget about. Executive producer James L. Brooks says that after viewing the documentary, he has decided to pull the "Stark Raving Dad" episode from circulation, Mashable reports. Brooks says he, show creator Groening, and producer Al Jean are of "one mind" about the decision. In the episode, Jackson voices a mental hospital inmate who believes he is Michael Jackson.

"It feels clearly the only choice to make," Brooks tells the Wall Street Journal. He says the HBO documentary convinced him that Jackson engaged in "monstrous" behavior. "This was a treasured episode. There are a lot of great memories we have wrapped up in that one, and this certainly doesn’t allow them to remain," he says, adding: "I'm against book burning of any kind. But this is our book, and we’re allowed to take out a chapter." Brooks says it will take time to remove the episode from platforms like streaming services and DVDs, but "the process has begun." (Read more Michael Jackson stories.)

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