Contrary to popular belief, not every episode of The Simpsons is available on Disney+. One particular episode from 1991 is missing, and it is not hard to see why. The episode "Stark Raving Dad" featured guest star Michael Jackson.
"Stark Raving Dad" was originally the Season 3 premiere of The Simpsons, but not anymore. A few die-hard fans noticed that it was missing from the new streaming platform Disney+, which promised to have the entire Simpsons library in its catalogue.
As it turns out, the episode has been missing from all Simpsons collections since the spring. It was removed from DVD box sets, re-runs and all other streaming forms of the show, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal, at the behest of The Simpsons' creative brain trust itself — executive producers James L. Brooks, Matt Groening and Al Jean.
The three said that this was "the only choice to make" in regards to the episode, especially in light of the most recent allegations against Jackson. Jackson has faced accusations of child molestation for decades, and even went to court over them in his lifetime.
However, last year the stories hit a high point once again with the HBO documentary Leaving Neverland. The movie starred two of Jackson's accusers, who shared their story in a four-hour tell-all with all the evidence and witnesses they could muster.
The story has led many people to reconsider their opinion of Jackson and his legacy, and has shaken his legendary status in pop culture. It has also gotten plenty of backlash from Jackson's remaining supporters. Brooks said that he and the other Simpsons creators felt that the episode needed to go for the sake of the alleged victims.
"This was a treasured episode," he said. "There are a lot of great memories we have wrapped up in that one, and this certainly doesn’t allow them to remain."
"Stark Raving Dad" followed Homer's friendship with a patient at a mental ward, who said that he was Michael Jackson. It was a gag about Jackson's drastic plastic surgery, and Jackson was in on it at the time.
Two years after the episode aired, Jackson went to court for alleged sexual assault of a minor of the first time. In 1993 he was questioned for his inappropriate "friendship" with a 13-year-old boy. The case was settled out of court.
This missing episode is not Simpsons fans' only complaint about Disney+. The new streaming service has the show touched up and remastered, but also cropped to a 16:9 aspect ration. This cuts off the top and bottom portions of the show, rendering some gags and visual humor nonsensical.