The Simpsons Is Pulling Its Michael Jackson Episode Amid The Leaving Neverland Documentary
In the days since the chilling documentary Leaving Neverland premiered, people around the world have questioned their support and fandom of Michael Jackson. The two-part HBO documentary hears from two men who claim the King of Pop abused them when they were underage.
As a result, The Simpsons has decided to pull its Michael Jackson episode due to the sensitivity surrounding the late pop star.
'Stark Raving Dad' was from the third season and saw Homer sent to a mental institution where he met a man who claims to be the 'Billie Jean' hit maker. Homer lets the faux Michael stay with them and he helps Bart craft a catchy tune for Lisa's birthday.
The show's executive producer James L. Brooks told the Wall Street Journal that the episode will be pulled from all future box sets, on-demand streaming and syndication.
"The guys I work with-where we all spend our lives arguing over jokes-were of one mind on this," Brooks said. "It feels clearly the only choice to make."
He adds that the people higher up than him were convinced by the allegations made in Leaving Neverland and felt it was necessary to pull the episode.
This follows the decision by radio stations around the world banning Jackson's music to be played on their airwaves.
Three stations in Canada and one in Australia have made the decision to pull songs like 'Beat It', 'Wanna Be Starting Something', 'Thriller' and 'Billie Jean' (just to name a few) from their repertoire.
Cogeco spokeswoman Christine Dicaire says the move was made based off of listener requests.
A similar decision has been made in New Zealand, with any station owned by MediaWorks and New Zealand Media Entertainment now banned from busting out tracks from the King of Pop.
MediaWorks Group content director Leon Wratt said: "We aren't deciding whether Michael Jackson is guilty of paedophilia, we're just making sure our radio stations are going to play the music people want to hear."
He was interviewed by radio station Magic Talk, where he added: "You've got 500 songs on a playlist and you have to make the decisions which 500 are the ones people will want to listen to."
Only time will tell if more Michael Jackson related material gets pulled or defaced. There has been an increase in security guards watching over Jackson's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in case anyone decides to vandalise it.
Featured Image Credit: The Simpsons/Fox