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.