The increasing backlash against Michael Jackson, who we are at pains to stress has been dead for just on 10 years, continues to swirl amid the release of the eye-opening Leaving Neverland documentary. The latest of which happens to be The Simpsons, who will be pulling the iconic 1991 episode that Jackson guest-starred in from rotation.

Stark Raving Dad first aired back in September of ’91 during The Simpsons‘ third season, leading to great conjecture over whether or not Jackson actually leant his voice to the episode, given he credited as “John Jay Smith.”

Executive Producer James L. 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.

Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Brooks confirmed that after consulting with Matt Groening and Al Jean, they all felt that it was “clearly the only choice to make.

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.

While Leaving Neverland is yet to air in Australia (Channel Ten is set to air it in two parts starting tonight), the backlash against Jackson’s estate has grown. Locally, Nova radio stations – including Smooth FM – have opted to temporarily pull Jackson’s songs from the air.

For those of you wondering, you can still listen to your Simpsons soundtrack CDs; Jackson’s famous “Happy Birthday Lisa” song from the episode was actually recorded by a soundalike. Which, I guess technically, makes it still ok to listen to.

Don’t quote me on that, but.

Source: Wall Street Journal