‘The Simpsons’ Showrunner Thinks That Michael Jackson Used His Episode ‘To Groom Boys’


Following the premiere of HBO’s Leaving Neverland documentary, which leaves little doubt that the King of Pop was a “sexual predator,” Michael Jackson’s music sales and streaming numbers dropped, his songs have been banned from the radio, and The Simpsons‘ creators removed the classic season three episode “Stark Raving Dad” from rotation. “It feels clearly the only choice to make,” co-creator James L. 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.”

When asked about Jackson’s history with The Simpsons, which includes voicing New Jersey bricklayer Leon Kompowsky (who sings “Happy Birthday, Lisa”) and providing back-up vocals for the 1990 novelty hit “Do the Bartman,” showrunner Al Jean told the Daily Beast that although he’s disappointed to see “Stark Raving Dad” go, “it’s something I agree with completely.” Some more:

“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.”)

Jean also said that “Stark Raving Dad” has a “false purpose” in retrospect: Jackson used it “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.”

(Via the Daily Beast)