One of the most iconic episodes of The Simpson’s “Stark Raving Dad” will no longer be in circulation after the release of a new HBO documentary “Leaving Neverland,” which documents alleged sexual assault by pop icon Michael Jackson.
According to a report by New York Daily News, Fox Broadcasting pulled the episode from The Simpsons circulation.
“Stark Raving Dad” was the season premiere of the third season of the long-running series. It shows how Homer Simpson finds himself in a mental institution due to a laundry mix-up in the dryer. Due to this mix-up, he stood out compared to his co-workers. When his boss Mr. Burns saw this, he sent Homer home and ordered him to a take a psychiatric quiz.
Homer decided that filling out the quiz was too much work and allowed Bart to fill out the form. The result was Home being involuntarily committed to the local mental hospital. There he met with a giant male who thought he was Michael Jackson, and was actually voiced by Michael Jackson. In fact, the man, who think he’s Jackson says, “People thought I was crazy for the way I dressed…One white glove, covered with rhinestones.” Not only does Jackson give voice to the character, but he also wrote the song that his character and Bart sing to Lisa in order to cheer her up.
Executive producer James L. Brooks told the Wall Street Journal that he and Simpsons creatives Matt Groening and Al Jean were the ones to have the episode removed from the Simpsons rotation following the HBO documentary Leaving Neverland where James Safechuck and Wade Robson described the sexual abuse they allegedly endured.
Jean would detail to The Daily Beast that he believes Jackson used the episode as a “tool.” He discussed his decision to remove the episode before stating he believes Jackson used it to “groom boys.”
“It wasn’t something that makes me happy. It’s something I agree with completely. 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 judgments 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.”
He elaborated on how he believed Jackson was using it to “groom boys.”
“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.”
Michael Jackson was never convicted of child sex abuse. In 1993 just before his Dangerous world tour he was accused by Evan Chandler of engaging in a sexual relationship with his son Jordan Neil “Jordy” Chandler. Jackson would eventually settle with Chandler for $23,000,000. He would also lose a number of endorsements including his Pepsi deal.
Jackson would face similar allegations in a criminal case in California in 2004. Wade Robson actually testified in Jackson’s defense during the case. Jackson would be found not guilty by the jury.
The singer passed away in 2009 due to propofol and benzodiazepine intoxication.
Do you think Jackson’s episode on the Simpson’s should have been taken down? What do you think of all of this? Is this nothing more than a postmortem witch hunt?