The team behind “The Simpsons” is pulling an episode out of circulation because it features a guest appearance by Michael Jackson. TMZ reports that the decision was “made by the show’s honchos in the wake of ‘Leaving Neverland.'”
The controversial HBO documentary, which premiered March 3 on the pay-cable channel, revives allegations of child abuse by Jackson. HBO has been sued by the Jackson estate over the film.
“‘Simpsons’ executive producer James L. Brooks says he made the call after watching the 2-part HBO documentary about Jackson’s alleged molestation of Wade Robson and James Safechuck,” TMZ reports. “The 1991 episode features Jackson voicing the character Leon Kompowsky.”
The episode is “Stark Raving Dad,” from season three.
“Creator Matt Groening and producer Al Jean were in agreement with Brooks to pull it, with Brooks telling The Wall Street Journal … ‘There are a lot of great memories we have wrapped up in that one, and this certainly doesn’t allow them to remain,'” TMZ reports.
The report notes that Jackson’s appearance in the episode was uncredited for contractual reasons and remained unconfirmed until years later.
The process is under way to pull the episode from syndication, DVD and streaming, TMZ notes.