In the wake of the latest allegations of sexual assault and child molestation aimed at Michael Jackson with the documentary Leaving Neverland, the producers of The Simpsons have decided to pull the classic 1991 episode ‘Stark Raving Dad’ from syndication.
The episode, the season three premiere, sees Homer Simpson sent to a mental asylum, where he is roomed up with Leon Kompowsky, a bald, white man who is convinced that he is Michael Jackson. The pop icon was originally credited under the pseudonym John Jay Smith, and also wrote the episode’s song ‘Happy Birthday Lisa’.
“It feels clearly the only choice to make,” executive producer James L. Brooks told The Wall Street Journal, stating that he, Matt Groening and Al Jean all agreed to the decision. “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.”
As well as removing the episode from syndication, it will no longer appear on FXX’s Simpsons World on-demand service, and will be absent from future home-entertainment reissues of the season.