‘The Simpsons’ is Trying to Make Its Michael Jackson Episode Disappear. It Shouldn’t

You might have heard that The Simpsons is trying to make an episode disappear. The episode in question is the season three premiere Stark Raving Dad, where Homer is put in a mental institution and ends up befriending a large white man who thinks he’s Michael Jackson, voiced by the late King of Pop himself, credited as John Jay Smith. Funnily enough, Jackson requested a sound-alike for the songs he sings in the episode, part of a joke Jackson wanted to play on his brothers. He was a weird dude.

This is in reaction to the documentary Leaving Neverland where we learned nothing because everyone knew Michael Jackson was a kiddie fiddler since the 1980s. Here’s what James L Brooks told the Wall Street Journal:

It feels clearly the only choice to make,” Mr. Brooks said of the 1991 episode in which Mr. Jackson voiced the character of a patient in a mental hospital who believes he is the pop star.

Mr. Brooks said he, along with Matt Groening and Al Jean, the other two masterminds of the long-running Fox cartoon, came to the conclusion after watching the HBO documentary “Leaving Neverland.” In the documentary, which premiered earlier this week, two men allege in graphic and compelling detail that Mr. Jackson molested them over several years when they were children.

“The guys I work with—where we spend our lives arguing over jokes—were of one mind on this,” Mr. Brooks said in an interview, speaking on behalf of the production team behind “The Simpsons.”

Of course they have the right to do this, but it raises the question: why now and not twenty years ago? He did answer that.

“The documentary gave evidence of monstrous behavior, he said, adding that he went into it wanting to “believe the thing that we believe,” which was that Mr. Jackson was falsely accused.

It’s kind of interesting that so many people had this reaction, because here’s no new evidence in this documentary, just some victim porn where people cry and say how hard it was on them. It really helped them connect with the people they thought were lying for the past thirty years.

Here’s why this is dumb: people who want to see the episode will see the episode. It’s gone from the iTunes store and the FX app, and I assume other digital marketplaces, but it’s still really easy to find to download on the internet. People who bought it on DVD or Blu Ray still have it (even though they said it will be pulled from future releases). And really, people should be allowed to watch it if they want to. I get pulling it from TV and even the streaming app, but no one is going to accidentally come across it on a DVD.

Also, you can ask any Family Guy fan, episodes and segments being pulled just makes people want to see them more. People went nuts when they found out there was an unaired episode from the original run. There are actually two now, one that eventually aired and one that still hasn’t.

Brooks said this about pulling the episode:

“I’m against book burning of any kind. But this is our book, and we’re allowed to take out a chapter,” he said.

You can’t make the past not have happened. How many more episodes of The Simpsons are going to get pulled now?I feel like it’s open season. The Mel Gibson episode, maybe? The ones John K was a guest animator on? George Takei’s guest spot as Akria? I’m sure there are tons of people we could object to. This episode is 27 years old. Michael Jackson wasn’t profiting off of it before he died, he sure as hell isn’t now.

I don’t even really get the statement they’re trying to make her. Fucking kids is bad? Thanks, everyone knew that. Would people be confused if you didn’t do this? I have news for you, having an episode with Michael Jackson in it isn’t going to do any more damage to your brand than the last ten seasons of your show have.

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5 years ago

What does George Takei have to do with any of this?
Also, Eric, please proofread.