The Simpsons pulls episode starring Michael Jackson over child abuse allegations

The episode saw Jackson voice Leon Kompowsky, a man Homer meets at a mental institution who believes he’s Michael Jackson

Clarisse Loughrey
Friday 08 March 2019 08:11
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Leaving Neverland director Dan Reed defends Michael Jackson accusers

An episode of The Simpsons featuring Michael Jackson has been pulled from circulation, following the accusations made in the new documentary Leaving Neverland.

The new documentary, which aired in two parts on Channel 4 in the UK this week, features lengthy testimony from Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who claim they were sexually abused by Jackson when they were children.

Jackson’s estate has denied all of the allegations in the documentary and accused Robson and Safechuck of being “opportunists” and “liars”. It is currently suing HBO for $100m.

According to The Wall Street Journal, executive producer James L. Brooks, creator Matt Groening and showrunner Al Jean have made the decision to pull the episode “Stark Raving Dad” from streaming platforms, networks re-running the show, and forthcoming physical copies, including box sets.

“It feels clearly the only choice to make,” Brooks said. “The guys I work with — where we spend our lives arguing over jokes — were of one mind on this.”

The episode in question, from the show’s third season, which aired in 1991, saw Jackson voice Leon Kompowsky, a man Homer meets at a mental institution who believes he’s Michael Jackson.

Jackson was a fan of the show and offered to guest star, although he was originally credited under the pseudonym “John Jay Smith”.

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