Published: Fri, March 08, 2019
Life&Culture | By Sue Mclaughlin

'Simpsons' producers pull iconic Michael Jackson episode

'Simpsons' producers pull iconic Michael Jackson episode

His estate filed a lawsuit against HBO in February, saying the program breached an agreement that the cable channel would not disparage the pop star.

He voiced a character in a psychiatric ward who believed he was the pop star.

But "Simpsons" longtime executive producer James L. Brooks told the publication that in light of the disturbing claims made in the HBO documentary, pulling the episode "feels clearly the only choice to make".

"First and foremost what I will say is we have to rely on the justice system and we mustn't forget that he was acquitted of not just one, but all child molestation charges during his trial in 2005", Andre wrote.

In the four-hour documentary, which aired in a slightly shorter format over two nights in the United Kingdom this week, Wade Robson and James Safechuck accused Jackson of repeated sexual abuse when they were children. The song featured in the episode, "Happy Birthday Lisa", was written by Jackson, but was credited as "W A Mozart". In the film, two men speak in great detail about Jackson molesting them over several years when they were children.

He adds that the people higher up than him were convinced by the allegations made in Leaving Neverland and felt it was necessary to pull the episode.

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Andre, who relocated from the United Kingdom to Australia with his family aged six, can be seen in a frame from the new documentary film Leaving Neverland, which features interviews with Robson.

"The documentary gave evidence of monstrous behavior", Brooks told the newspaper.

Brooks confirmed earlier today that the episode will be removed from the show's regular rotation, meaning the episode will disappear from network repetition and the FOX-owned Simpsons World streaming service, before eventually being pulled from syndication and future DVD home releases as well.

"I'm against book burning of any kind", said Brooks.

"We must allow them to speak and therefore, we must consider all sides of this, even as uncomfortable as that might be".

Media representatives for The Simpsons were not immediately available for further comment.

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