Money Dispute May Halt ‘Simpsons’
“The Simpsons” may not make it past its 23rd season.
The Daily Beast reported Tuesday that the studio and the six principal actors who lend their voices to the show are battling over pay, with 20th Century Fox Television trying to get the actors to take a 45 percent pay cut.
Twentieth Century Fox Television tells CNN in a statement, “23 seasons in, ‘The Simpsons‘ is as creatively vibrant as ever and beloved by millions around the world. We believe this brilliant series can and should continue, but we cannot produce future seasons under its current financial model.”
The Beast names the individuals in question as Dan Castellaneta (Homer Simpson and Krusty the Clown, among others), Julie Kavner (Marge, among others), Nancy Cartwright (Bart, among others), Yeardley Smith (Lisa), Harry Shearer (Ned Flanders) and Hank Azaria (Chief Wiggum, Moe, and Apu Nahasapeemapetilon).
The actors themselves have reportedly tried to negotiate a 30 percent pay cut on the grounds that they receive a small piece of the “back-end profits,” including revenue from syndication and branded items, like lunchboxes, DVDs and clothing.
According to reports, the star “Simpsons” voice actors are currently making around $8 million annually for 22 weeks’ worth of work, and with the pay cut proposed by the studio would make closer to $4 million. The Beast reports that the actors currently don’t receive any compensation from those ancillary revenue streams.
Twentieth Century Fox Television tells CNN in its statement, “We are hopeful that we can reach an agreement with the voice cast that allows ‘The Simpsons‘ to go on entertaining audiences with original episodes for many years to come.”