Disney's newly launched streaming platform is home to a wide range of television classics, including the long-running animated series The Simpsons. As of Tuesday, Disney+ subscribers could enjoy every single episode from the show's first 30 seasons—well, almost every episode.
As pointed out by The Hollywood Reporter, the infamous 1991 Michael Jackson episode is unavailable to stream on the service. Which isn't too surprising, considering The Simpsons showrunners scrubbed the season 3 opener, titled "Stark Raving Dad," from its catalog earlier this year. The move was made in wake of renewed outrage over Jackson's child sex abuse scandal, which was the subject of the explosive HBO documentary Leaving Neverland (2019).
"It feels clearly the only choice to make," executive producer James L. Brooks told the Wall Street Journal back in March, adding series creator Matt Groening agreed with the decision. "The guys I work with—where we spend our lives arguing over jokes — were of one mind on this."
He continued: "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."
Debuting Sept. 19, 1991, "Stark Raving Dad" included an uncredited guest appearance by Jackson, who provided the voice of Leon Kompowsky. Jackon's character is a white man who believes he is the King of Pop and ultimately befriends the Simpsons after meeting Homer inside a mental institution. One of the most memorable moments of the episode is when Kompowsky sings "Happy Birthday Lisa." However, Jackson didn't actually sing the tune; it was performed by impersonator, Kipp Lennon.
The late entertainer's involvement in the show was confirmed until years after "Stark Raving Dad" premiered.
Check out reactions to the omission below.