In 1991 the Season 3 of The Simpsons aired. It was called “Stark Raving Dad” and it featured a character named Leon Kompowsky, who sounded a lot like Michael Jackson. A lot of fans assumed that Jackson voiced the role, but it wasn’t confirmed until years later that he actually did provide the voice. Jackson was not credited on the episode.
For those of you who are fans of this iconic episode, you might have mixed feelings about the fact that it has been removed from the rotation of reruns, so you won’t be able to see it anymore unless you own it. It also won’t be included on any future re-releases.
The removal of the episode is in response to the HBO documentary Leaving Neverland, which pretty much paints Michael Jackson as a child molester. While the pop star was acquitted of these charges in court years ago, this documentary brings back those allegations.
Some people think the experiences of the two main subjects of the documentary, while others do not. A lot of fans are divided on this, but in the current climate of how sexual abuse allegations are handled, there are people that obviously don’t want to support sexual predators, so it makes sense that the producers of The Simpson would want to remove this particular episode.
Executive producer James L. Brooks had this to say in a statement to The Wall Street Journal:
“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.”
He also told them that fellow executive producers Matt Groening and Al Jean agreed with the decision. When asked for a comment, Jean said, “I agree with Jim, nothing else to add.” Brooks added:
“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.”
This Leaving Neverland documentary is really shaking people to the core. A lot of people grew up who with Michael Jackson’s music. I’ve been a fan of his since I was a kid. My kids are huge fans of his music as well!
If he really did do the things that he’s being accused of, that’s just awful, terrible and very disappointing. IfThe Simpsons’ producers feel that they need to do this, that is their right to do so. Just as it’s the fan’s right to choose to continue to be a fan and continue to listen to his music or not.