ripple effects

Why ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic Isn’t Doing His Michael Jackson Parody Songs Anymore

Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

“Weird Al” Yankovic has made the decision to retire his celebrated Michael Jackson song parodies. The reason isn’t hard to guess. “[W]e just felt that with what’s happened recently with the HBO documentaries, we didn’t want anybody to feel uncomfortable,” he told Billboard. “I felt I had enough fan favorites in the show that I could get away with it.” Leaving Neverland, the HBO documentary centered on Jackson’s alleged predatory behavior toward young boys, has had pop-cultural ramifications far and wide. Janet Jackson reportedly declined to perform at her Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction because HBO would air it, The Simpsons pulled their MJ-guesting episode, and now Yankovic’s “Strings Attached” tour will go “Eat It”–less. It’s Yankovic’s first tour with a full orchestra, so everyone hoping to hear “Fat” with more cello in it will be disappointed. “There have been some people who have expressed disappointment,” he said, “but we decided to err on the side of not offending people.”

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic Won’t Do His Michael Jackson Songs