The infamous episode of The Simpsons that featured Michael Jackson has been pulled following the airing of HBO’s Leaving Neverland.
According to Variety, The Simpsons producers have decided to pull the “Stark Raving Dad” episode from the rotation.
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Their decision came as the world is still grappling with the accusations of alleged molestation and sexual abuse by Jackson on James Safechuck and Wade Robson when they were boys. They each told their story in excruciating detail when the doc debuted this weekend, despite a $100 million lawsuit filed against HBO by Jackson’s estate.
“It feels clearly the only choice to make,” The Simpsons executive producer James L. Brooks told the Wall Street Journal. The episode will also be removed from syndication, as well as FXX’s Simpsons World on-demand service, and future reissues of its DVD sets. “The guys I work with — where we spend our lives arguing over jokes — were of one mind on this.”
In the 1991 episode, Jackson voiced the character Leon Kompowsky, who meets Homer Simpson in a mental institution. Simpson brings home Kompowsky, a large white man who claims to be Michael Jackson. Ultimately, Leon helps Bart Simpson celebrate his sister’s birthday by singing one of the show’s most memorable tunes, “Happy Birthday Lisa.”
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Jackson’s role was long rumored yet uncredited. Still, he confirmed that his voice was used many years later.
“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,” Brooks added.“I’m against book burning of any kind. But this is our book, and we’re allowed to take out a chapter.”