Simpsons Showrunner Suspects Michael Jackson Used His Episode To 'Groom Boys'
Ever since the HBO documentary Leaving Neverland aired, people around the world have been left with a series of questions surrounding singer Michael Jackson - The Simpsons production team are the latest to remove any link they had with the deceased pop star by pulling one of the show's most famous episodes.
Jackson featured in the 1991 episode 'Stark Raving Dad', which was one of their most successful from the show's third season.
And in an interview with The Daily Beast, showrunner Al Jean has now said he suspects part of the reason Jackson agreed to appear on the show because it could help him 'groom boys'.
Jean explained: "I think it was part of what he used to groom boys. I really don't know, and I should be very careful because this is not something I know personally, but as far as what I think, that's what I think. And that makes me very, very sad."
Earlier in the interview, Al said: "What saddens me is, if you watch that documentary - which I did, and several of us here did - and you watch that episode, honestly, it looks like the episode was used by Michael Jackson for something other than what we'd intended it.
"It wasn't just a comedy to him, it was something that was used as a tool. And I strongly believe that. That, to me, is my belief, and it's why I think removing it is appropriate.
"I lose a little bit of money financially, it's not something that's great personally to lose one of the most successful things I ever did, but I totally think it's the right move. I don't believe in going through and making judgements on every guest star and saying 'this one was bad, that one was bad', but the episode itself has a false purpose, and that's what I object to about it now."
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'Stark Raving Dad' aired on 19 September 1991 and featured Jackson voicing a character called Leon Kompowsky, a mental institution patient who claimed to be the singer himself.
In the episode, Homer Simpson ends up taking Leon home to help son Bart celebrate daughter Lisa's birthday.
Jackson wasn't credited on the episode initially but it was later confirmed that he was voicing the character.
News that the episode had been pulled emerged last week after the two-part HBO documentary Leaving Neverland aired. It tells the story of Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who both say they were sexually abused by the singer and put forward graphic and detailed accounts of their time with him.
Leaving Neverland has divided opinions since its release, with fans, viewers and even figures such as Louis Theroux speaking out about the allegations.
Jackson's daughter, Paris Jackson, has responded to the documentary, replying to Twitter users in a thread defending the documentary and the 'injustices' around it, sticking up for her dad's 'good heart'.
The 20-year-old wrote on Twitter: "Yeah they do that to everyone with a good heart and tries to make a difference but do you really think that it's possible to tear his name down? Like do you truly believe they stand a chance? Relax and have peace."
Featured Image Credit: 20th Century Fox