In the wake of the documentary, there was – in my opinion – somewhat of a knee-jerk reaction in banning MJ’s music across radio stations across the world. Not that it deterred his fans, though – several of his albums and singles started actually climbing the charts.
However, it isn’t just radio stations who have tried to phase out the singer, as it was also announced that the Simpsons episode featuring him – Stark Raving Dad – will be pulled from television schedules.
In case you didn’t know, the episode features Homer going to a psychiatric hospital where he meets a man who thinks he’s Michael Jackson, voiced by Michael Jackson. It’s meta and it births one of the greatest songs in Simpsons history – Happy Birthday Lisa.
The decision was made by longtime producer, James L. Brooks, alongside show creator Matt Groening and former show runner Al Jean, where he explained:
“It feels clearly the only choice to make,” saying that it was done to “show compassion for Mr. Jackson’s alleged victims.
Now, though, Al Jean, in an interview with the Daily Beast, has opened up about the decision to pull the episode, and it’s a pretty grim theory he has.
“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. . . . It’s why I think removing it is appropriate.”
He goes on to say that he thinks Jackson used the show as a way of appealing to a younger demographic and ‘grooming’ them, before saying, “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.”
Despite it being“one of the most successful things I ever did,” Jean said, he admitted that pulling it was “the right move.”
This comes after Leaving Neverland director Dan Reed dismissed claims that the accusers were lying for financial gain.
It’s also emerged that MJ’s nephew, Taj Jackson, is planning to make his own counter documentary which will pick apart the HBO special.
We’ve not heard the last of this.
Images via Getty/HBO/Netflix/Fox