- Publish Date
- Thursday, 14 March 2019, 12:15PM
The Simpsons boss Al Jean thinks Michael Jackson used the show to "groom boys".
The classic animated comedy's executive producer has spoken out after the team decided to pull 1991 episode Stark Raving Dad - which featured the voice of the late musician - from circulation in the wake of the Leaving Neverland documentary.
Photo / HBO
Admitting it's his own opinion rather than based on fact, he told The Daily Beast: "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.
- READ MORE: Michael Jackson's niece who dated Wade Robson breaks silence on Leaving Neverland documentary
"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 lose a little bit of money financially, it's not something that's great personally to lose one of the most successful things I ever did, but I totally think it's the right move."
The episode in question sees Homer sent to a psychiatric hospital, where he befriends a man named Leon Kompowsky who thinks he is Michael Jackson.
Although originally credited under the pseudonym John Jay Smith, it was later confirmed that the Thriller singer did voice the character.
Michael has been accused of child sexual abuse and Al believes he used the fact that he appeared in the show "to groom boys".
He added: "I don't believe in going through and making judgments on every guest star and saying 'this one was bad, that one was bad,' but the episode itself has a false purpose, and that's what I object to about it now ... 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."
In Dan Reed's Leaving Neverland documentary, Wade Robson, 36, and James Safechuck, 40, both allege that Michael sexually abused them when they were children and would stay over at his Neverland Ranch.
Wade - who testified under oath in Michael's 2005 child sex abuse trial that the musician never abused him - claims that he was molested by the King of Pop from the age of seven until 14. James - who previously testified on Michael's behalf when he was accused of sexual abuse in 1993 - claimed he was abused from the age of 10 until he reached puberty.
The Michael Jackson estate has hit back at the allegations branding both accusers "perjurers" and "admitted liars".
HBO's Leaving Neverland is available to watch on TVNZ OnDemand.
- Bang! Showbiz