‘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.
Its a clasic episode and features an amazing song MJ sings (Lisa Its Your Birthday) but I kinda get why they wouldn’t wanna air it rn— Insanul Ahmed (@Incilin) March 8, 2019
It's such a lovely episode, and the song is gorgeous, but I respect the decision.— Guha Krishnamurthi (@GGKrishnamoomoo) March 8, 2019
I can respect the decision, especially for an episode where the character voiced by MJ interacts with kids the whole time. And for those who still want to see it, there are countless DVD copies still out there.— Trump Luvs Jeebus (@JeebusTrump) March 8, 2019
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.
So @TheSimpsons pulled down the #MichaelJackson episode because of #LeavingNeverland ...Am I crazy, or is the #BillCosby episode still viewable? Does no one see a problem with this?#Simpsons#ZombieSimpsons— Anand Mohan (@Anando123) March 8, 2019
And yet the Charles Manson episode will continue to air smh.— privatefight (@privatefight) March 8, 2019
Better get rid of the Liam Neeson episode due to his racist comments from decades ago and get rid of the George Takei one as well due to claims of sexual misconduct.— Hey, Internet. Eric Here (@Movies_beer365) March 8, 2019
They’re damned if they do, damned if they don’t.— Stephen Thomas Erlewine (@sterlewine) March 8, 2019
So are they gonna go all Thanos on my DVD? pic.twitter.com/F3pSWT5iVW— Len (@WordManWord) March 8, 2019
Literally just do one of these, it's alot better than "erasing" history pic.twitter.com/lMhVHSyaOm— Video Junk (@Video_Junk) March 8, 2019
Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!