‘The Simpsons’ pulls Michael Jackson episode from 3rd season

The show’s creator and producers cite child abuse allegations in a new HBO documentary.

  • The Washington Post
  • Friday, March 8, 2019 12:24pm
  • Life

The Washington Post

Nearly three decades ago, Michael Jackson offered to be a guest voice on “The Simpsons.” The result of that collaboration will now be pulled from recirculation.

The top minds behind Fox’s animated show say they were swayed by “Leaving Neverland,” the controversial documentary that began airing on HBO Sunday and alleges child abuse by the late performer.

“Simpsons” executive producer James L. Brooks told the Wall Street Journal that he, creator Matt Groening and producer Al Jean jointly decided to pull the 1991 episode, “Stark Raving Dad,” which features Jackson voicing a character in a mental-health ward who believes he is Jackson.

Brooks told the Wall Street Journal that this was “clearly the only choice to make,” adding that he, Groening and Jean were “of one mind on this.”

In “Stark Raving Dad,” which kicked off the series’s third season, Homer Simpson is a patient when he meets a man named Leon Kompowsky, whose spoken lines are voiced by Jackson, who was originally credited as “John Jay Smith” (musician-songwriter Kipp Lennon voiced the character’s singing). It wasn’t until this past fall that Groening confirmed the character was voiced by Jackson. The episode was directed by Rich Moore, who would go on to direct “Zootopia” and “Ralph Breaks the Internet.”

Brooks, who called it a “treasured episode,” said that “Stark Raving Dad” would be pulled from streaming platforms and future box sets, as well as broadcast network reruns. Representatives at Fox have declined to comment.

Talk to us

More in Life

Daniella Beccaria / for The Herald

15-month-old Kantu attempts to climb a pumpkin at Stocker Farms in Snohomish on Sunday, September 20th, 2015. Stocker Farms offers a U-pick patch, farm animals and a corn maze.
Best pumpkin patch in Snohomish County

You voted, we tallied, here are the results.

Everett comedian Taylor Clark performs stand-up in 2023 at The Triple Door in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Mike Bryk)
Comedian Taylor Clark to film first special Friday in Everett

The skateboarding funny-man will record an hour of his stand-up at the Historic Everett Theater.

Local musician Alex Johnston, whose newest album "Daylight Fooldream" pairs with short film he made with help from his partner Mikaela Henderson, sits with his morning coffee on Friday, Sept. 15, 2023, at Narrative Coffee in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Folktronica musician shoots 37-minute visual album on iPhone in Everett

Alex Johnston, 31, describes his music as ”if Coldplay and Bon Iver had a love child.”

Flowering knotweed Persicaria amplexicaulis firetail in the morning light.
Save for one infamous variety, fleece flowers are easy to fall in love with

This long-blooming, easy-to-grow perennial comes in many desirable varieties. But watch out: One is an invasive knotweed.

A view of King Street Station in Seattle, Washington from an Amtrak Cascades train to Portland, Oregon from Everett, Washington on Wednesday, May 24, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Ride the rails on Amtrak Cascades from Everett to Portland

Make new friends and let Amtrak do the driving on this 5-hour trip past sea, city and forest.

From left, Elora Coble, Carol Richmond, David Hayes, Karli Reinbold, Giovanna Cossalter Walters, Landon Whitbread in a scene from Edmonds Driftwood Players' production of "Murder on the Orient Express." (Dale Sutton / Magic Photography)
Music, theater and more: What’s happening in Snohomish County

Edmonds Driftwood Players opens its 65th season with Agatha Christie’s “Murder on the Orient Express.”

Some collectibles are found in nature; some imitate them. If it weren’t for the attached figure, this Royal Dux porcelain vase might pass for a real conch shell.
This shell-shaped vase would make a fine souvenir of summer fun

It may not be a real shell, but this art nouveau piece could still evoke fond memories of days at the beach.

Arlington Garden Club celebrating its 90th anniversary

The club has monthly programs for north Snohomish County gardeners and awards scholarships to area students.

Spouses Franchesca and Don Simpson talk about their baby girl’s “chubby cheeks” and “button nose” as Kelly Fox RDMS RVT performs a live-view 3D ultrasound on the expecting mother Saturday, August 26, 2023, at Wonder Baby Ultrasound Studio in Everett, Washington. The Simpsons are expecting their first child in October. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Glamour shots in utero? Everett studio offers HD ultrasound keepsakes

For curious parents, these glimpses are exciting, but not medically endorsed.

Most Read