What should we do about Michael Jackson?

James L. Brooks, co-creator of The Simpsons, says that the 1991 episode guest-starring Michael Jackson is being yanked, permanently.“It feels clearly the only choice to make,” Brooks told the Wall Street Journal. “The guys I work with—where we spend our lives arguing over jokes—were of one mind on this,” he added.

I believe this is the first instance of a Jackson product being pulled in response to the broadcast this week of the HBO documentary Leaving Neverland, whose chilling revelations I wrote about here. In retrospect, I think we were all blinding ourselves to something that was perfectly obvious. Jackson was not just a strange boy-man, he was a pedophile. He serially sexually abused young boys. At least two of the boys, James Safechuck and Wade Robson, the subjects of the documentary, have suffered severe emotional trauma that continues to this day. Brooks said he approached the documentary wanting to “believe the thing that we believe,” which was that Jackson was innocent. Brooks doesn’t believe that anymore.