The producers of “The Simpsons” are taking down an episode that featured the voice of Michael Jackson. The decision to take it down was made after HBO aired a documentary called Leaving Neverland in which two men alleged that they were sexually abused by the singer when they were little.
“The documentary gave evidence of monstrous behavior,” executive producer James L. Brooks told The Wall Street Journal on Thursday.
‘Michael Jackson sexually abused us’
In the documentary, a detailed interview was given by Wade Robson and James Safechuck where they confirmed that the singer sexually abused them for long, starting from when they were aged 7 and 10. They also told about Jackson’s attempts to keep them away from their parents.
In “Stark Raving Dad”, a 1991 episode of The Simpsons, Homer Simpson meets a person in a mental institution who claims to be Micheal Jackson and ends up singing a song, “Happy Birthday Lisa” . The character, Leon Kompowsky, was voiced by Jackson.
“We really did have Michael Jackson,” Matt Groening, the creator of Simpsons, told Australian outlet The Weekly.
MJ wasn’t credited for the voice over that time due to conflicts related to his record labels.
“He didn’t want credit for it — it was some kind of deal with his record company or whatever,” said Groening.
He also confirmed that although Jackson did voice the character, but he did not sing the song “Happy Birthday Lisa”.
A Worrying Legacy
The King of Pop has been blamed for child molestation multiple times over the years. Robson and Safechuck denied that being molested was not part of the 1993 investigation. They also told that they were told to “defend Jackson” for the documentary.
As for the Simpsons’ episode featuring the singer. it will be removed from streaming services and future DVD sets. The episode has already been taken down from the Simpsons World website.
“I’m against book burning of any kind,” said Brooks. “But this is our book, and we’re allowed to take out a chapter.”