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8 Mar, 2019 11:11

‘The Simpsons’ to pull Michael Jackson episode amid ‘Leaving Neverland’ doc backlash

‘The Simpsons’ to pull Michael Jackson episode amid ‘Leaving Neverland’ doc backlash

Producers of The Simpsons cartoon series are pulling an episode featuring Michael Jackson following renewed allegations of child abuse in a new documentary. Reaction has been mixed, with many accusing the show of hypocrisy.

HBO’s new documentary ‘Leaving Neverland,’ contains a slew of allegations of child sexual abuse against pop icon Michael Jackson, made by his accusers Wade Robson and James Safechuck.

In the 1991 Simpsons episode ‘Stark Raving Dad,’ Homer meets a man named Leon Kompowsky who believes he is Michael Jackson.

Kompowsky befriends Homer’s son Bart and even sings a once-popular birthday song for Lisa.

Executive producers of the long-running animated series have decided to remove the episode, which features the voice of the popstar, from syndication and streaming services in the US.

The news follows decisions by radio stations across the globe to remove the star’s music from their playlists.

“The guys I work with – where we spend our lives arguing over jokes – were of one mind on this,” Simpsons producer James L. Brooks told the Wall Street Journal, adding that it “feels clearly the only choice to make.”

Online reaction to the news was mixed, with many saying it was the right move to make.  

Others highlighted the hypocrisy of the decision, as the show has featured many controversial figures over the years, including Bill Cosby and Charles Manson, though these were voiced by actors and did not appear personally.

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