Michael Jackson is beginning to get pulled out of pop culture one way — and one day — at a time.
First, it was radio stations pulling his music off circulation earlier this week — and now, it’s the producers of The Simpsons, who have chosen to pull from circulation their 1991 episode Stark Raving Dad, which stars Jackson.
James L. Brooks, the legendary animated comedy’s longtime executive producer, spoke to the Wall Street Journal on Thursday about the production team’s decision to cut the episode out of circulation in re-runs and on syndication.
He lamented the decision, but ultimately knew it was the right move to make considering the allegations coming to the forefront against the Thriller singer ever since Leaving Neverland hit the air.
Brooks cited the HBO documentary itself in his decision to pull the episode, noting the four-hour piece “gave evidence of monstrous behavior,” and removing Stark Raving Dad “feels clearly like the only choice to make” in its wake.
The producer added (below):
“This was a treasured episode. There are a lot of great memories we have wrapped up in that one, and this certainly doesn’t allow them to remain. I’m against book burning of any kind. But this is our book, and we’re allowed to take out a chapter.”
Brooks reportedly made the final decision alongside Simpsons show runner Al Jean after the pair watched the documentary.
Clearly, MJ’s professional and entertainment-area work will continue to come under fire as the fallout from Leaving Neverland continues; as Brooks laments in his own decision here, while it’s a tough call to make, it’s probably the right move to avoid positively publicizing the King of Pop right now.
And it should be noted that this isn’t the first time The Simpsons has done this. Following the September 11 terror attacks, the show removed its 1997 episode The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson from circulation.
What do U think about all this, though, Perezcious readers?!
Is it the right thing to do for shows like The Simpsons to remove old episodes because they contain controversial or highly-charged actors, characters, or guest stars? Is there a better way to handle this, or did Brooks do the right thing?
Let us know what you’re thinking about all of the Leaving Neverland fallout in the comments (below)…
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