Simpsons showrunner thinks Michael Jackson's appearance on the show was used to 'groom boys'
The beloved episode will no longer be shown.
Following the allegations that of sexual misconduct and child abuse that were made against Michael Jackson in the documentary Leaving Neverland, a variety of radio stations - including RTÉ - have refused to play Jackson's music.
A Michael Jackson tribute act, which was set to perform around Ireland in May, has also been cancelled.
The producers and creators of The Simpsons have also decided to pull the famous episode in which Jackson made a guest appearance, Stark Raving Dad.
In the episode, Homer spends time in a mental institution, where he becomes roommates with a man named Leon Kompowsky who believes he is Michael Jackson. Meanwhile, Bart promises Lisa that he will get her the best birthday present ever.
The episode culminates in the beloved song 'Lisa It's Your Birthday'.
During a recent interview with The Daily Beast, Al Jean, showrunner on The Simpsons, has re-evaluated the episode's legacy and feels that it has a "false purpose".
When asked to elaborate on what this false purpose is, Jean said: "I think it was part of what he used to groom boys. I really don’t know, and I should be very careful because this is not something I know personally, but as far as what I think, that’s what I think. And that makes me very, very sad".
Jean also discussed Leaving Neverland and how the various allegations that were made in the documentary have influenced the decision to pull the Simpsons episode from circulation.
"What saddens me is, if you watch that documentary—which I did, and several of us here did—and you watch that episode, honestly, it looks like the episode was used by Michael Jackson for something other than what we’d intended it. It wasn’t just a comedy to him, it was something that was used as a tool. And I strongly believe that.
"That, to me, is my belief, and it’s why I think removing it is appropriate. I lose a little bit of money financially, it’s not something that’s great personally to lose one of the most successful things I ever did, but I totally think it’s the right move. I don’t believe in going through and making judgments on every guest star and saying “this one was bad, that one was bad,” but the episode itself has a false purpose, and that’s what I object to about it now," said Jean.
Jackson's estate have strongly denied the allegations that were made in the documentary.