The executive producers of The Simpsons are pulling an episode that featured Michael Jackson.
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, The Simpsons producers James Brooks, Matt Groening, and Al Jean said that they will pull a 1991 episode called “Stark Raving Dad” that starred Michael Jackson in the role of a patient in a mental hospital who tries to convince people that he’s a pop star. The producers told the Journal that they made the decision after watching the HBO documentary Leaving Neverland, which featured two men who said Jackson molested him at his home while they were children.
The documentary, which first premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January, depicted in graphic detail the lengths to which Jackson would go to allegedly molest the two men while they were children. In their interview with the Journal, the producers called Jackson’s alleged actions “monstrous behavior.”
They acknowledged that Jackson had been alleged to have committed child abuse in the past and didn’t pull the episode at that time. But they told the Journal that Jackson had been acquitted of the previous charges in 2005. Prior to his death in 2009, Jackson denied allegations that he abused children.
Actually pulling the episode in question won’t be easy. From streaming platforms, it’s as simple as taking it down, which the producers and providers are in the process of doing. They’ve also stopped allowing that episode to air on television. But The Simpsons is also available in Blu-ray box sets, and removing the episode from those will take time. The producers didn’t say when they expect the process to be completed.