Unless you have been living under a rock you will know that Micheal Jackson has been in the news for more allegations against his conduct with children. Which has led to an interesting discussion that we have seen time and time again. When someone is accused or has committed such acts can we still enjoy their art. Now this is not for me to say but a surprising voice on the matter was James L. Brooks, the long time producer of the Simpsons. he has gone ahead and begun the procedure of removing the episode from broadcast where possible. He would go on to say, “It feels clearly the only choice to make.”
Jackson features in the episode Stark Raving Dad where Homer is mistaken for an anarchist and sent to a mental institution. Once there he ends up sharing a room with a man who claims to be Michael Jackson. Meanwhile, Bart promises his sister Lisa that he will get her the best birthday present ever, he forgets and drama ensues. It turns out the guy is of course not Jackson and in the end he and Bart perform a touching song for Lisa. (Fun fact the singer is not actually Jackson that is why I am ok showing this clip.)
Brooks would go on to explain that this decision was made in tandem with Matt Groening and Al Jean after viewing HBO’s Leaving Neverland. The now infamous documentary which details two men’s allegations against Michael Jackson. Going into great detail about him sexually molesting them.
Brooks while speaking with the Wall Street Journal said it was important to pull the Jackson episode to “show compassion for Mr. Jackson’s alleged victims,”
He would go on to say “The documentary gave evidence of monstrous behavior.”
“This was a treasured episode. There are a lot of great memories we wrapped up in that one, and this certainly doesn’t allow them to remain.”
I can see why this would be difficult for them, the episode was a major milestone and was very heart warming and shows the Simpsons at their best, but in the end I can respect their decision.