Michael Jackson Episode Cut From The Simpsons Archives Following Documentary

Michael Jackson Episode Cut From The Simpsons Archives Following Documentary
(L) The Simpsons characters attend the 'Taste of Springfield' press event at Universal Studios Hollywood, at Universal City, Calif., on May 12, 2015. (Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images) (R) A wax figure of late pop star Michael Jackson, made by Madame Tassauds at a a shopping mall in Tokyo, Japan, on Jan. 27, 2010. (Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP/Getty Images)

Creators of The Simpsons animated comedy show are reportedly removing one of their classic episodes from broadcast that features Michael Jackson, after watching the latest controversial Leaving Neverland documentary.

Show Executive Producer James L. Brooks announced the episode, “Stark Raving Dad,” which featured the voice of the king of pop, will be indefinitely removed from circulation.

The episode, which aired in 1991, has been a fan favorite since it first aired. Jackson voiced a character named Leon Kompowsky, a patient Homer Simpson meets in a mental institution who claims to be the pop singer.

“It feels clearly the only choice to make,” Brooks told to the Wall Street Journal.

He said he and the two other masterminds of the Simpsons, Matt Groening and Al Jean, came to the conclusion after watching the HBO documentary, Leaving Neverland.

“The guys I work with—where we spend our lives arguing over jokes—were of one mind on this,” Brook said.

The documentary, “Leaving Neverland,” details allegations by James Safechuck and Wade Robson that Jackson molested them over several years when they were children.

Robson, 36, and Safechuck, 40, said they were 7 and 10 respectively, when the alleged abuse started.

Jackson’s family has denied the allegations and condemned the documentary, calling it a “public lynching.”

The full response, obtained by Deadline, reads:

“Michael Jackson is our brother and son. We are furious that the media, who without a shred of proof or single piece of physical evidence, chose to believe the word of two admitted liars over the word of hundreds of families and friends around the world who spent time with Michael, many at Neverland, and experienced his legendary kindness and global generosity. We are proud of what Michael Jackson stands for,” the statement said.

“People have always loved to go after Michael. He was an easy target because he was unique but Michael was subjected to a thorough investigation, which included a surprise raid of Neverland and other properties as well as a jury trial where Michael was found to be completely innocent. There has never been one piece of proof of anything. Yet the media is eager to believe these lies.”

“Michael always turned the other cheek, and we have always turned the other cheek when people have gone after members of our family—that is the Jackson way but we can’t just stand by while this public lynching goes on, and the vulture tweeters and others who never met Michael go after him. Michael is not here to defend himself, otherwise these allegations would not have been made,” the Jackson family said in a statement.

“The creators of this film were not interested in the truth. They never interviewed a single solitary soul who knew Michael except the two perjurers and their families. That is not journalism, and it’s not fair, ­yet the media are perpetuating these stories.”

“But the truth is on our side. Go do your research about these opportunists. The facts don’t lie, people do. Michael Jackson was and always will be 100 percent innocent of these false allegations—The Jackson Family­­­­­”

Michael Jackson, who died in 2009, maintained his innocence while alive, steadfastly denying any molestation allegations.

In February, the Michael Jackson Estate attempted to block HBO from airing the documentary by suing the network in Los Angeles Superior Court. Among the charges were that it “falsely claims Michael Jackson was abusing children.”

However, despite the family claims of Jackson’s innocence, Brooks said he found “Leaving Neverland” convincing and heartbreaking.

“The documentary gave evidence of monstrous behavior,” he said, adding that he went into it wanting to believe that Jackson was innocent.

He added that while the episode is one of his own favorites, in light of the documentary, it has to be cut.

“This was a treasured episode,” Brooks said. “There are a lot of great memories we have wrapped up in that one, and this certainly doesn’t allow them to remain.”

He said the “Simpsons” producers are taking steps to remove the episode from all platforms, including on television, streaming services, and Blu-ray/DVD boxed sets.

Brooks also acknowledged the potential backlash from fans of cutting the episode.

“I’m against book burning of any kind,” he said. “But this is our book, and we’re allowed to take out a chapter.”

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