‘The Simpsons’ Pulls Michael Jackson Episode From Circulation
In the wake of recently-aired HBO documentary Leaving Neverland, which features the extensive accounts of two men who allege Michael Jackson sexually abused them when they were young boys, the producers of The Simpsons have decided to pull the episode of their show which featured Jackson from circulation.
The Simpsons executive producer James L. Brooks told The Wall Street Journal:
It feels clearly the only choice to make ... The guys I work with — where we spend our lives arguing over jokes — were of one mind on this.
The episode in question is called “Stark Raving Dad,” in which Jackson voiced Leon Kompowsky, a man in a mental hospital who (at least initially) claims he is the real Michael Jackson. Leon and Homer become friends, and for a while Leon comes to live with the Simpson family. He even helps Bart repair his relationship with Lisa through the writing and singing of a special song for her birthday.
Jackson was a Simpsons fan, and offered to do a guest spot on the show. Matt Groening and the series’ writers devised “Stark Raving Dad” specifically for him. Due to contractual obligations, Jackson could only do the episode if he went uncredited, and if a sound-alike (Kipp Lennon) recorded Leon’s singing voice.
The episode had been well-regarded among fans for years, but it looks very different today in light of Leaving Neverland. And sure enough, you will no longer find “Stark Raving Dad” on FXX’s Simpsons World website.
Gallery — The Best TV Shows of the Year: