Makers of 'The Simpsons' pull Michael Jackson episode

Ben Arnold
Contributor
The Simpsons episode ‘Stark Raving Dad’ (Credit: Fox)

The makers of The Simpsons have pulled the episode featuring Michael Jackson from broadcast, following the allegations of sexual abuse in the documentary Leaving Neverland.

The episode, called Stark Raving Dad, which is considered a classic instalment of the long-running series, first aired in September, 1991, during the show’s third season.

Read more: Viewers ‘shocked and disgusted’ by Leaving Neverland

James L. Brooks, the show’s executive producer, 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.”

He added that Simpsons creator Matt Groening and Al Jean agreed on the move.

(Credit: Fox)

In an email to Variety, Jean confirmed: “I agree with Jim, nothing else to add.”

Jackson was not initially credited as the voice actor playing Leon Kompowsky, a fellow inmate at a psychiatric facility that Homer is sent to after he fails a psychiatric ‘quiz’ at work.

But it was later confirmed that Jackson was indeed behind it.

Read more: US celebrities react to Leaving Neverland

Kompowsky, a huge hulk of a man in the episode, claims to be Michael Jackson, and memorably composes a song to celebrate Lisa’s birthday when Bart forgets it.

In a further twist, Jackson did not actually sing in the episode – instead it was Jackson impersonator Kipp Lennon.

(Credit: Fox)

Brooks went on: “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.

“I’m against book burning of any kind. But this is our book, and we’re allowed to take out a chapter.”

Read more: Michael Jackson’s children ‘devastated’ by Leaving Neverland

Leaving Neverland has hit headlines around the world, after being broadcast in the US and the UK this week.

The HBO film, directed by BAFTA-winning British director Dan Reed, centres on interviews with Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who both met Jackson when they were children, and allege that they were abused by the singer for many years.