One of the most iconic early episodes of “The Simpsons,” the third season premiere in which Michael Jackson provided the voice of a bald white mental patient who befriends Homer, has been pulled from the rotation at the request of the show’s producers.
Jackson’s involvement in the 1991 episode titled “Stark Raving Dad” was uncredited and wasn’t confirmed to be Jackson until years later, though Kipp Lennon ended up being the one who sang the show’s songs including the memorable “Happy Birthday Lisa”.
In the wake of HBO’s “Leaving Neverland” last weekend and its extensive allegations of sexual assault by Jackson, the episodes is being removed from syndication, FXX’s On Demand service, and future disc sets. Executive producer James L. Brooks has explained to The Wall Street Journal the decision he, Matt Groening and Al Jean all agreed to:
“It feels clearly the only choice to make. The guys I work with — where we spend our lives arguing over jokes – were of one mind on this… This was a treasured episode. There are a lot of great memories we have wrapped up in that one, and this certainly doesn’t allow them to remain. I’m against book burning of any kind. But this is our book, and we’re allowed to take out a chapter.”
The announcement comes as further fallout from “Leaving Neverland” continues to hit with actor Corey Feldman, who previously slammed the doco and has been one of Jackson’s staunchest defenders, has told CNN he can no longer stand by the singer. The two-parter also just aired in the UK with around two million viewers tuning in for each part – easily eclipsing the numbers who tuned in on HBO.