The HBO documentary Leaving Neverland despite receiving tons of backlash seems to be having a significant effect on the late Michael Jackson’s legacy. After the two-part doc detailing the sexual abuse two men allegedly endured while under the “mentorship” of the singer as young boys aired, perceptions seem to be changing about Jackson.
Three major radio stations in Montreal, Canada have decided to pull the iconic pop star’s music. And recently, an episode of Fox animated television show The Simpsons featuring Jackson was also yanked off the air. Speaking with The Daily Beast, showrunner Al Jean explained why they decided to pull the fan-favorite episode from the show’s third season after viewing the doc, going as far as saying he felt Michael Jackson was using it as a tool to groom young boys.
Per The Daily Beast:
“It wasn’t something that makes me happy. It’s something I agree with completely. 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. That, to me, is my belief, and it’s why I think removing it is appropriate.”
“I think it was part of what he used to groom boys. 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.”
Those are some very extreme allegations from Jean, so we hope he is ready for the backlash that will soon come his way. Michael Jackson fans have already called for the canceling of HBO and even Oprah, who interviewed the two men from the Leaving Neverland documentary. We won’t be surprised if The Simpsons end up on that list as well.