You can now view every episode of The Simpsons from the first 30 seasons with a subscription to Disney+ — with the exception of one.
After the streaming service launched Tuesday, people were quick to notice that "Stark Raving Dad," the first episode from Season 3, was not included, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The fan favorite episode aired in 1991 and featured a character voiced by Michael Jackson. The singer played Leon Kompowsky, a man Homer meets while in a mental institution, although Jackson's role is uncredited and his involvement was only confirmed years after it originally aired.
Disney did not immediately respond to Yahoo Entertainment's request for comment. It's unclear who made the decision to exclude the episode.
It's believed that "Stark Raving Dad" wasn't included due to the resurfaced molestation accusations against Jackson. After the release of HBO's documentary Leaving Neverland, the Jackson episode was removed from broadcast circulation. The show’s longtime executive producer, James L. Brooks, told The Wall Street Journal in March it felt like "the only choice to make."
"The guys I work with — where we spend our lives arguing over jokes — were of one mind on this," Brooks said, speaking on behalf of the production team. "I’m against book-burning of any kind. But this is our book, and we’re allowed to take out a chapter."
Jackson, who died in 2009, maintained that he never sexually abused anyone. His family has denied all accusations in Leaving Neverland and the Michael Jackson Estate sued HBO for $100 million over the documentary. Taj Jackson reacted to the news of his uncle's Simpsons episode being excluded from Disney+ on Twitter, calling the move "hypocritical."
Wanna finally report about all the Leaving Neverland lies exposed or how hypocritical this is for both Disney and the Simpsons. Or are you just here to take another dig at my uncle who is no longer here to defend himself. https://t.co/aOqL61SZ2x— Taj Jackson (@tajjackson3) November 13, 2019
Fans of Jackson's were equally upset at the absence of "Stark Raving Dad."
"Stark Raving Dad" is one of the most beloved Simpsons episodes ever. Watched by hundreds of millions since it's premiere in 1991, it's a part of Pop Culture history and can NEVER be erased.— 🌟 (@MJonTheBrain) November 13, 2019
Give the people what they asked for, Michael Jackson! #DisneyBringBackStarkRavingDad pic.twitter.com/MTyXGQPXdM
Another cowardly woke decision. The Stark Raving Dad Simpsons episode with the acquitted Michael Jackson isn't on Disney+ streaming. Yet A Bug's Life, featuring Kevin Spacey voicing Hopper, is. #HollywoodHypocrites #DisneyPlus #Disney pic.twitter.com/CNqqscbZzZ— Leaving Neverland Facts (@NeverlandFacts) November 12, 2019
Cowardly decision to exclude episode with Michael Jackson, who was found innocent by a jury and is only being accused after he died by 2 men seeking a fortune from his estate. #DisneyPlus https://t.co/i3QdJQgH7C— Leaving Neverland Facts (@NeverlandFacts) November 12, 2019
The Simpsons fan & Michael Jackson super fan in me is extremely disappointed that Stark Raving Dad is not on Disney+ either. I’m glad I haven’t completely worn out my Season 3 dvds like I did 4&5 because apparently we are supposed to pretend like that iconic episode doesn’t exist— Paris🖖🏽| #MJInnocent (@PimpSantaa) November 12, 2019
That wasn't the only thing irking fans as viewers criticized Disney for changing the aspect ratio of show. The Simpsons, which is airing its 31st season, used a 4:3 aspect ratio during its early years before switching to a 16:9 format. On Disney+, episodes from the first 20 seasons are streaming in a 16:9 format, meaning the image appears stretched.
Not only are the classic Simpsons episodes on Disney+ awkwardly cropped, but they're stretched in a lot of places too. Bart's head looks 4 inches wider here: pic.twitter.com/fCpmTPasGj— Tristan Cooper (@TristanACooper) November 12, 2019
Personally I hope @disneyplus fixs this and make the episodes 4:3 or at least give us the option to change it.— Gotta catch Em All (@SolderBen10) November 12, 2019
@disneyplus— Steven Berliner (@steven_berliner) November 13, 2019
@DisneyPlusHelp Please let us watch the original Simpsons seasons, as intended, in 4:3 aspect ratio. Cropping the early season to 16:9 breaks a lot of visual gags, and makes the show look absolutely awful. It is nearly unwatchable as-is. #SimpsonsAspectRatio
I used to feel like my desire to own physical copies of things was antiquated and dumb, but now that the Simpsons and Star Wars are only available on disney- in butchered versions, I don't feel so dumb. #DisneyPlusfail #SimpsonsAspectRatio— tackycarygrant (@tackycarygrant) November 13, 2019
There's no shortage of content on the newly released streaming service. Disney is offering a warning on select films like Dumbo, Jungle Book, Lady and the Tramp and Fantasia given some were made nearly 80 years ago. "This program is presented as originally created. It may contain outdated cultural depictions," the disclaimer reads.
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