AceShowbiz - "The Simpsons" appears to distance itself from Michael Jackson in the wake of HBO's explosive two-part documentary "Leaving Neverland". The long-running series has pulled out classic season 3 premiere titled "Stark Raving Dad", which featured the voice of the late pop star, from circulation.
"It feels clearly the only choice to make," "The Simpsons" executive producer James L. Brooks revealed to The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the news. "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," he added. Additionally, Brooks said that fellow producers Matt Groening and Al Jean agreed with the move they took regarding the fan-favorite episode which first aired in 1991. "The guys I work with -- where we spend our lives arguing over jokes -- were of one mind on this," he said.
In the episode, Homer was sent to a psychiatric institution where he roomed with a man named Leon Kompowksy who claimed to be Michael Jackson. Homer brought Leon home. Ultimately, Leon helped Bart Simpson celebrate his sister’s birthday by singing one of the show's most memorable songs, "Happy Birthday Lisa".
As his involvement was uncredited, people initially had no idea who voiced the character though it was widely believed that it was the legendary pop singer himself. FOX only confirmed Michael's involvement years later. However, the singing voice in the episode was done by a soundalike named Kipp Lennon.
It was said that the "Smooth Criminal" hitmaker pitched the idea to Groening over the phone one night. He went uncredited due to contractual reasons.
The news arrives in the wake of "Leaving Neverland", in which two men, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, detail alleged sexual assault they experienced at the hand of the singer over several years when they were children. Michael Jackson's estate sued HBO for the documentary, stating that the premium cable network "falsely claims Michael Jackson was abusing children."