Contract Disputes Could Cancel “The Simpsons”
After a record-breaking 23 years on air, "The Simpsons" is facing cancellation unless the cast agrees to a pay cut demanded by 20th Century Fox.
In 2008, the primary cast - Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Hank Azaria and Harry Shearer - negotiated a pay raise from an estimated $360,000 per episode to $500,000. With their contracts expiring this season, 20th Century Fox is demanding the cast take a 45% pay cut. The cast responded with a counter-offer of a 30% cut with the addition of a small cut of the back-end earning which include syndication, DVD/Blu Ray Sales, and merchandise sales. Fox responded with an ultimatum that the show would be canceled unless the cast accepts the original offer.
Earlier today, 20th Century Fox released the following statement about the contract negotiations,
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. 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.
Though some fans and critics believes the show hasn't been in its prime condition for years, it has become a staple of American Pop Culture. For the show to end its run not on its own terms would be considered by many to be a travesty.