HBO’s Finding Neverland documentary has sent ripples through the entertainment world with some startling first-hand allegations against musician Michael Jackson.
In the wake of the film, producers of The Simpsons decided to pull an episode of the show which featured Jackson. The musician voiced Leon Kompowsky – a man Homer meets in a mental institution who he believes is the actual pop star.
Now Simpsons producer Al Jean has come forward with further worrying allegations against the pop star.
Speaking to The Daily Bean, Jean claims Jackson used the episode to “groom boys”. Jean told the site, “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.”
Jean continued, “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.”
The 1991 episode sees Homer committed to a psychiatric facility where he meets a man called Leon Kompowsky. Kompowsky genuinely believes he is Michael Jackson, leading to plenty of shenanigans and references to the “Bad” singer.
The heartwarming episode ends with Bart and MJ penning a tribute song to Lisa with the catchy “Happy Birthday Lisa” — written by Jackson. For years, contractual obligations meant that Jackson went uncredited for his performance, while the star’s singing voice was provided by impersonator Kipp Lennon.
Jean famously co-wrote “Stark Raving Dad” with Mike Reiss, with the episode being specifically created with Jackson in mind. The singer refused to commit to the episode until a read-through was done, but reportedly loved it and soon signed on the dotted line.
Reiterating it was “one of the most successful things I ever did,” Jean agreed that pulling “Stark Raving Dad” from syndication is “the right move.” He said he is disturbed that he believes the episode “was part of what he [Jackson] used to groom boys.”
There’s no denying the legacy of Jackson in pop culture and that “Stark Raving Dad” will always be one the most memorable Simpsons episodes of all time — perhaps even more so in light of the recent scandal.