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Saturday, March 09, 2019 

The Simpsons production staff pulls the old Michael Jackson episode from distribution

While it's a shame the Simpsons producers caved to the political correctness centered on Apu Naheesapamapeliton, I honestly can't feel disappointed about the news they're removing the early episode featuring the voice of Michael Jackson, because of the sexual assault scandal resurfacing in a recent documentary on HBO (via Fox News):
An episode of “The Simpsons” that features the voice of Michael Jackson will be removed from circulation — less than a week after the release of a documentary that exposes the singer’s alleged pedophilia, according to a report.

James L. Brooks, a ‘Simpsons’ executive producer, told The Wall Street Journal that he and two other creators of the show decided to pull the episode after watching the “Leaving Neverland” on HBO.

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

“The guys I work with—where we spend our lives arguing over jokes—were of one mind on this. It feels clearly the only choice to make.”

The classic episode, “Stark Raving Dad,” features the voice of Jackson as Leon Kompowsky, a mental hospital patient who shares a room with Homer Simpson.
It's certainly too hard to care if they shelve the tale in the dusty storage bins, because I'd become disillusioned with the Simpsons over 15 years ago. And because, after you find out that an allegedly popular showbiz star did things as obscene as what Jackson did, it takes all the flavor and humor out of the old story. The same can be said for an old episode from the early years featuring an allusion to Bill Cosby (I vaguely remember one where a picture of his now worthless 1984 biography "Fatherhood" made an appearance), and Dr. Julius Hibbert was based on Cosby, which now surely comes as an embarrassment for the cartoon's staff. After what's been found out about Jackson, far less are bound to watch that story, which centered on Lisa's birthday. It reminds me of an episode from Quantum Leap (1989-93), in a scene involving a youngster at a restaurant who's supposed to be the young Jackson, which I'd watched a second time a number of years ago, and I didn't find it charming or amusing at all. It was just depressing, having seen it again over 2 decades after it was filmed, and after news of Jackson's deviations from sanity were now public record. For anybody frightened at Jackson's dark past, they could feel the same way about the Simpsons episode, and who could blame them?

Maybe this is karma for all the other really bad ideas the Simpsons writers put in over the years, including political stuff. There is, however, one telling question in all this: how come the producers didn't pull the episode from circulation when Jackson was first accused in the late 1990s?

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Should everything a person does in his or her life affect the quality and/or appreciation of either literature or artwork (or anything between the two extremes)?

Speaking of animation, I know you're a big fan of Rocky & Bullwinkle, but I can't figure out why? I mean, one would think either the politics or segments "Fractured Fairy Tales" and "Aesop & Son" would drive you away from the cartoon given past behavior on both subjects.

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