“It feels clearly the only choice to make,” Simpsons executive producer James L. Brooks told The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the news.
Twentieth Century Fox TV, which produces the animated comedy, confirmed to EW that 1991’s season 3 premiere, “Stark Raving Dad,” will be removed from syndication and streaming platforms. The episode revolves around Homer being sent to a psychiatric institution, where he rooms with a man purporting to be Michael Jackson. Jackson voiced the character of Leon Kompowsky without credit, though when another voice actor was used when Leon sings “Happy Birthday, Lisa.”
Brooks told the Journal that the decision to pull the episode from circulation came after he, creator Matt Groening, and showrunner Al Jean viewed the new HBO documentary, in which two men explain that Jackson molested them when they were children. “The guys I work with — where we spend our lives arguing over jokes — were of one mind on this,” said Brooks.
Directed by Dan Reed (The Paedophile Hunter), the two-part documentary premiered in January at the Sundance Film Festival in January. It centers on Wade Robson, 36, and James Safechuck, 40, who have long claimed that Jackson sexually abused them when they were children. Jackson had vehemently denied any mistreatment of children before his death in 2009, and the Michael Jackson Estate recently sued HBO to prevent its distribution.
Several radio stations outside the U.S. have pulled Jackson’s music from their playlists.
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