'Simpsons' actor breaks silence, says Fox should share profits

UPDATE: ‘The Simpsons’ renewed by Fox for two more seasons

The cast and producers of The Simpsons have been silent since news of their latest contract war with studio 20th Century Fox TV broke out. Until now. Cast member Harry Shearer — who provides the voice for Mr. Burns, Smithers, Ned Flanders, Kent Brockman, and other characters — issued a lengthy statement explaining his position on why the actors are holding out for a better deal to keep the show on the air (it’s a bit awkward when you’re publicly demanding a large salary in the middle of a recession, a fact Shearer seems very aware of here). See what you think, below. Does Shearer come across like humble Ned Flanders? Or Mr. Burns?

For many years now, the cast of “The Simpsons” has been trying to get Fox to agree that, like so many other people who’ve contributed significantly to the show’s success, we be allowed a tiny share of the billions of dollars in profits the show has earned. Fox has consistently refused to even consider the matter. Instead, it’s paid us salaries that, while ridiculous by any normal standard, pale in comparison to what the show’s profit participants have been taking home.

Now, as the show enters its twenty-third season, we are engaged in what will probably be our last contract negotiation with Fox. As you may have heard, the network has taken the position that “The Simpsons” no longer makes enough money and that unless we in the cast accept a 45% pay cut, they are not going to bring the show back for a twenty-fourth season.

Obviously, there are a lot more important things going on in the world right now, in the streets of New York and elsewhere. But given how many people seem to care about what happens to our show – and how much misinformation has been flying around – I thought it might make sense for at least one member of the cast to speak out directly. I should note that I am speaking only for myself, and not for any of the other actors on the show.

Fox wants to cut our salaries in half because it says it can’t afford to continue making the show under what it calls the existing business model. Fox hasn’t explained what kind of new business model it has formulated to keep the show on the air, but clearly the less money they have to pay us in salary, the more they’re able to afford to continue broadcasting the show. And to this I say, fine – if pay cuts are what it will take to keep the show on the air, then cut my pay. In fact, to make it as easy as possible for Fox to keep new episodes of “The Simpsons” coming, I’m willing to let them cut my salary not just 45% but more than 70% – down to half of what they said they would be willing to pay us. All I would ask in return is that I be allowed a small share of the eventual profits.

My representatives broached this idea to Fox yesterday, asking the network how low a salary number I would have to accept to make a profit participation feasible. My representatives were told there was no such number. There were, the Fox people said, simply no circumstances under which the network would consider allowing me or any of the actors to share in the show’s success.

As a member of the “Simpsons” cast for 23 years, I think it’s fair to say that we’ve had a great run and no one should feel sorry for any of us. But given how much joy the show has given so many people over the years – and given how many billions of dollars in profits News Corp. has earned and will earn from it – I find it hard to believe that this is Fox’s final word on the subject. At least I certainly hope it isn’t, because the alternative is to cancel the show or fire me for having the gall to try to save the show by helping Fox with its new business model. Neither would be a fair result – either to those of us who have committed so many years to the show or to its loyal fans who make our effort worthwhile.

Read more:
UPDATE: ‘The Simpsons’ renewed by Fox for two more seasons
‘Simpsons’ producers agree to take pay cuts
‘Simpsons’ studio says show can’t continue without cutting costs

Comments (223 total) Add your comment
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  • random human

    i like it. Ned Flanders is my vote.

    • LOL

      America lives crap!

      • LOL, take 2

        America loves crop!

      • Lisa

        I like it Ned Flanders wins.

      • Sheila

        America leaves creep!

      • Greg

        Why share that billions of dollars with the creative genius behind this creation? Nothing good can come from that.

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    • sam

      it’s so disingenious that they are not willing to give the actors their due — the show has run for 20 years. The network is too greedy. shocking.

      • Lisa

        Greedy Hollywood studio executives.. And they act like they can’t afford to make good movies anymore.

      • K. D

        It is not the network’s job to get the actor’s the best deal and the most money.That is their agent’s job so be mad at them Harry.

      • Dominic

        Bull KD, Fox are playing politics. Great statement.

      • Nothing Can Keep Us Together

        KD what is the point of living in a free and democratic society if you are not going to take advantage of the fact that all humans have free will and freedom for the pursuit of happiness. ppl like you that just sit back and expect others to fight for you are pathetic. and it just proves that you have gotten to comfortable. you don’t know what it means to not have freedom so you don’t fight.

      • Greg

        It doesn’t cost billions to put out the kind of crappy television reality shows we have to look forward to watching next week.

      • Marky

        I never liked this show, so have no vested interest in whether it stays on or not, but I think this show has been a huge negative influence on kids. I’ve seen elementary kids who think they need to act like Bart Simpson, talk like him, and treat other kids they way Bart does–not to mention how he talks to his parents. I’m sick of rude, and I’m not alone in that. The show can go!!

      • Jill

        I have known more people in reality that are like Homer Simpson than Bart Simpson. I think they both existed before the Simpsons were on the air. What you are saying could just as easily be applied to Dennis the Menace was on the air decades ago, and little kids became little monsters to their entire neighbourhoods. Actually, instead I place the responsibly clearly where it belongs, on everyone’s parents. Stop requiring the government to help censor everything you see and hear, educate and raise your own children for you (or get a vasectomy), and stop using television shows as a babysitter for your neglected kids. That would do more than eliminating perhaps the only really hilariously funny cartoon show left.

    • Cheery

      Agreed, good for him. News Corp is full of greedy b@stards.

      • Michael

        Uhhh, Bastards?

    • JD

      The voice actors were more than compensated with their high salaries, in lieu of a percentage.(not that voice actors would deserve that)
      Now that they’re basically finished and the show is getting only 5 million viewers. NOW THEY A PERCENTAGE OF THE SHOW? How nice.
      The fact is the show has to be lean in mean if it’s to continue to make new episodes. And instead of maybe a 45 percent cut, they can cut 90 percent or more and just get new voice actors. They may not be able to get the likes of Shearer, Azaria, the Homer guy, who can do a lot of voices(the Bart, Lisa, Marge voices are dead weight and basically do their own). But maybe they can get 10 new actors to do the voices. Then use the savings to get better writers for the show. That’s were the money should be spent.
      Seriously, looking at the ratings it’s a wonder that they’re actually thinking of renewing the Simpson’s.

      • Du

        Yes, you’re right, JD. The voice actor who does Bart, Nancy Cartwright, sounds exactly like Bart and Nelson (oh, and Todd Flanders and Ralph Wiggum) in her daily life. And doing voices is all they do– they have nothing to do with the heart and soul of the show, they have no creative involvement, they do no ad-libbing. Geez, if that were true, don’t you think Fox would have replaced them years ago with any number of college kids who can do half-decent impersonations of the voices?

      • Flatz

        Spoken like a person who has never watched the show.

      • Ryan


        Do me a favor. If your boss/company asked you to take a 45% cut in pay, what would you say? Would you be willing to take that?

        I’m sorry, but I give a damn how much these guys make(which is quite low compared to actors on other TV shows) the principal of this pisses me off. Fox still makes TONS of money off the Simpsons. Oh no, the viewers are down to 5 million, plus merchandising rights….you know clothing, toys, puzzles, games, etc… Fox makes enough money that asking them to accept a paycut is stupid, but even more so when the actors make a reasonable counter offer and get slapped in the face. The fact that Mr. Shearer was willing to take a 70% cut with a little on the back end and Fox shot him down and said there is no amount low enough to let the actors in on the profits shows nothing but disrespect and greed.

        In the end Fox will give in if they want the show to continue, much as they had to do with Futurama when they threatened to recast that. The fans spoke out and would have rejected the show with new actors, same thing with the Simpsons.

      • blah blah

        you are an idiot!

      • VinceP

        Good writers alone do not (or did not) make The Simpsons the show that it is (or was) and the voice actors do not do it alone, either. It’s a combination of both. Jokes can be well-written (writers only get credit, and therefore paid, for episodes they write for) but delivered poorly and vice versa.

        Asking for a percentage of profit along with a, quite substantial, pay cut of is financially sound for both News Corp. and for the voice actors, if only News Corp. would think it through. It has the effect of making the actors deliver their written lines better, perhaps even choosing to contribute to the construction of the lines, which could make the show last even longer.

        Besides, he’s only asking for a percentage of the PROFITS, not the GROSS. Huge difference there.

    • mike

      I’d love to see the Simpsons continue for many more years and feel that creative artists should, as a standard, participate in the profits of their creative work. However, they are dealing with the likes of Murdock & the FOX beast. “How dare these unwashed plebians dare demand anything” has got to be Fox’s stance. I would not be suprised if FOX summarilty cancels the show just out of spite even in light of potential lost profits. I hope the creative geniouses associated with the Simpson win their objectives, but I fear they won’t and that will be unfortunate for the fans. If the creator of the Simpsons was smart, he would have retained full ownership of his work and perhaps go shopping for a new network. However, knowing FOX, they probably have something in their contract that won’t permit it.

  • ryq

    he’s gone!

    • JD

      The Simpson’s voice actors each make around $440,000 an episode!
      It’s kind of a miracle that the show can get renewed and they’re crying over making another 200K and episode of basically found money.
      I’m sure the top voice actors in the world can join the cast for even less than a tenth of what the originals are making.

      • josh

        You clearly missed the intent of Shearer’s rant….. Or the fact that they get paid such high salaries because they get no money on the back end. Money earned through syndication and merchandise can usually make an actor’s salary look like a downright bargain. Fox stands to make continued billions even after the show stops making new episodes, but the actors, who have a much greater role in the production of the show than the network does, will get nothing. That seems fair to you?

      • Greg

        They could cancel the show, and independently put it on the Internet and sell it themselves. And probably be the highest grossing internet media sensation the world has ever known.

  • Agent Smith

    His position is sensible. Those who contribute to an operation’s success materially deserve to benefit from it. However, this is not how folks like Murdoch think. They believe they should reap all the rewards, and the rest of humanity is merely grist for the mill that generates that wealth. I hope the cast stands firm on this. I hope they do so even if it means the end of The Simpsons, and I would miss the show greatly should that happen.

    • ChaCha

      Abso-freakin’-lutely! And my vote is Ned Flanders. FOX is definitely in the Mr. Burns role.

    • ddp

      They do share materially in its success. As he even admits they get paid very handsomely for their work. But the creator and the writers are the ones who made the show successful. Do the animators deserve a share of the profits? I don’t think so. I mean without talented animators the show would have failed but the animators draw what the writers tell them, just like the voice actors say what the writers tell them. Sure we are all recognize the voices of Harry Shearer as Ned and Yeardley Smith as Lisa, but you can’t honestly believe that if someone else had been cast for any of the voices 23 years ago the show would have been any more or less successful.

      • s

        You seem not aware of the fact that Harry is really an integral creator of the show, he is not just a voice of the characters. If asked, Harry would likely want all of the contributors, including the animators, to have a share in the profits.

      • Andrew A.

        What you are saying doesn’t make any sense. What you just said is that an actor or actress does not effect the success of the product. Really? I am pretty sure actors and actresses make a massive impact to how well something is going to do. Take Forest Gump, remove Tom Hanks and replace him with Dolph Lundgren. Still a massive era defining moving? Nope!

        But of course Tom Hanks had nothing to do with that…..

      • Jacob

        Actors have an impact on a live action show and on an animated show, I appreciate all that these actors have done, HOWEVER, the show is in a large majority of the world and translated in many different languages. All of these countries or specific languages also have voice actors who have been doing this for a long time. The billions of dollars that has been generated is from global syndication and product merchandising… so while I think that the original cast deserves to be paid well, I would attribute more to the writers and animators then I would to the cast members.

    • Steve in LA

      No, his position is noble but naive. If those that contribute beleive that they are entitled to share in times of success, then they also ought to share in time of failure. Actors don’t share the same risk profile as the “Corporates.” Sure its easy to make the argument when the show is printing money, but what happens when a show looses money (*which happens all the time*) Are the actors willing to absorb their “fair share” of the losses? And what of all the other participants? The writers, animators, producers, directors, post production, etc? Do they not contribute to the shows success? Should they not get a profit share also? Corporate makes billions, but they risk billions. If the actors want to get the BIG payday, then they need to take on the BIG RISK. Until then, shut up, do your job and collect your paycheck.

      • Ben

        Excellent point Steve. Well written, this is called the American Dream.

      • Aidan

        When a show loses money, actors don’t just lose money, they lose their job. To imply that an actor’s work is risk-free only conveys that you don’t understand the nature of acting work. The only thing naive about his position is that he thinks NewsCorp doesn’t mind doing something unpopular.

      • Big Papa Midnight

        Incorrect analysis, Steve. Asking to share in the risk is exactly what Shearer is doing; giving up a portion of his salary in exchange for a small percentage of stock in the show is buying the risk. Granted he wasn’t in on the ground floor so a big piece of the pie is unrealistic and he knows that, he just holds a now essential bargaining chip and is exercising his rights.

        And DDP the creative contributions of actors are right up there with writers and directors. Great performances by actors constantly make so-so scripts into good films.

      • Royce

        Steve, he said he was willing to take a lot less on salary. He is willing to risk his wages for a share of profit. You fail to see his arguement. Fail for you.

      • ns

        “Risk?” What planet are you living on?

      • Mitch

        He’s willing to take a lot less money AFTER the fact that he’s already made millions and millions. I wonder if Harry would have been willing to forego most of his guaranteed salary in favor of a small percentage of the profits when the show first went on the air.

      • Ross

        I disagree, Steve point would be valid in a start-up scenarion but this is a mature venture scenario. There is no longer risk in this venture. The franchise has made profit for two decades now.

        When the show loses money it is canceled and the actors lose their job. So there is also risk in their position as well.

        In the movie industry actors may ask and get back end deals all the time.

      • Du

        I will tell all my friends in bands that their labels are taking all the “risk,” and the same goes to me and all my friends who write books– our publishers are taking all the risks, so, even though we’re doing all the work conceptually and creatively, we deserve a set salary for what we’re doing and the labels and publishers get to keep all the profits from sales and other back-end stuff. Makes sense.

        No, wait, that doesn’t make sense at all.

      • joe

        If it wasn’t fo the actors this piece of crap show wouldn’t make a dime. News corp wants slavery back. Whatever happened to success brings success. 440,000 a show is nothing but a drop in the bucket. Newscorp has made BILLIONS on this show. This is just another example of conservatives believing that the boss deserves everything and the worker is just a commodity

      • Mark Svoboda

        Harry Shearer uses the term “small share of the eventual profits”. He is willing to quantify his pay cut using a percentage, but he does not reveal his current salary. He does not reveal how much money he has (after all, he is speaking only for himself :), or his history of pay (increases) over the last 20+ years. In the TV business, it is also unprecedented for a voice actor to receive cuts from this magical “profit bin” unless it is established that they also serve as a show producer, i.e. have assumed the financial risks that go along with that job.

        The letter’s message: Fox, I am not paid enough to do this – show me an unprecedented ass-kissing, and you can keep this unprecedented voice actor

      • Paulm14528

        Your comment is the onlt one that makes any sense here. This is a pure supply an ddemand situation. The deman for the show has dropped. They producers are selling a show “a product” to fox. Why does fox need to consider the people who made the susage? Another example of an overly entitled society.

      • Greg

        Corporate risks nothing. They don’t come up with the ideas. They don’t come up with the stories. They don’t come up with anything, except the power. They don’t lose power because a movie is unsuccessful or a tv show fails. They make another movie and another tv show. Steve is not playing with a full deck of cards here. You know nothing about how the motion picture industry works.

      • Steve in LA

        To Big Papa, Greg, Royce and the rest of the feeble minded –
        As a card carrying member of SAG and the recipient of a finance degree, I know EXACTLY how the entertainment biz works. And no, giving up a portion of a salary for “profits” is not taking on “risk” Its simply saying he’s willing to accept payment from either the left hand or right hand. He’s not “giving up” anything. Again, its easy to float your utopian arguments of equality using the Simpsons – its successful. But what of Running Wilde? It could not make it half way past its first season? Who is going to pay for that “creative” idea? Yet, YET, all the actors got paid for their work. It’s in their contract. Even for episodes that don’t air. (also see Charlie Sheen). So did the writers, grips, directors, etc. But who fronted those salaries? Newscorp. Actors, by definition are independent contractors who work for fee for hire. They get paid to act out a script. – say these line and in exchange I give you cash. If actors (or writers or feeble minded EW readers) want to be on equal footing with corporate, then don’t ask for a fee. Instead, wager your OWN money, pitch in to pay for the lights, camera, post production, etc., and everyone else’s salary and than hope that the public likes what you have to offer. Hindsight is 20/20. So yeah, this would have worked for the Simpsons. But what of Running Wilde? Actors seek to get paid for their work. Corporate seeks to get paid for its investments. The Simpson actors got paid for their work (handsomely). Now they want to come in and get a piece of Corporate investment decisions? Give me a break.

      • Steve in LA


        Actually it does make sense- a lot of it. You and your ilk seem to believe that you are taking risk in providing all the “work” and “creative effort” for you so-called “books” and “music,” etc. Well someone has to pay to print and bind your books and send them out to bookstores nationwide. Someone has to print those CD labels and send them out and then market your “music” so people world wide are aware of who you are. Who is going to pay for all that, YOU??? Who is going to pay for your recording sessions? Who is going to front the salaries for your road crew, manager, your insurance? YOU? But the most important question I have for you DU is who is going to shoulder the responsibility, the RISK that you SUCK? Who is going to pay for all of your crap only to find out that all of your “work” and “creative efforts” is total drivel and utter shi** that no one wants to read or listen too? That what the horrible greedy corporations do. They take risks on people like you hoping that you actually have something other people are interested in. It’s a big risk. And for that they want a big reward. No reward? Then shut up and go back to vocational school.

    • CH

      Wow. I really feel sorry for them. They’re only making $400k per episode.

      • Dee

        Don’t forget residuals.

        They get paid a small mount every time a show airs, so…in a sense, they ARE sharing in those billions made in syndication and reruns and other merchandising deals.

        Hard to feel sorry for someone making 400k an ep, plus residuals, plus merchandising cuts, when I’m on unemployment and barely making ends meet.

      • @Dee

        Yeah i feel really bad for you Dee. sitting on your computer unemployed rather than looking for a job. Your getting money from the government for doing absolutely nothing.

      • Du

        Dee, you might want to re-read the article, because you’re missing the point completely. Completely.

      • dee-dee

        HEY! stop dragging the dee quota down here. Harry’s whole point is THEY DON’T GET RESIDUALS! Moron!

  • joe

    His position is sensible. Those who contribute to an operation’s success materially deserve to benefit from it.

    Yes, these are the same people down at Wall street. Isn’t it ironic don’t you think

    • Greg

      A percent would mean billions. How many billions does a studio need to stay in business?

  • Rick

    I guess Fox is trying to help the unemployment in the country to go up! Good job Fox on not trying to work things out with such a great show.

    • Lee

      I hate most corporations. And I don’t want to hear the condescending “corporations are people” blather. If they were people, they’d be ostracized for their greed and cruelty. They’re legal constructs designed to grab the biggest mound of money off the table.
      My corporation asked all 12,000 employees (except for top management) to take a 17% cut in pay across the board. If we didn’t like it, we were welcome to leave. Then they gave us 10% bonuses at the end of the year. We were supposed to be overjoyed and kiss the hem of top management’s cloak for paying us 7% less that year. it’s insulting.

      • Billy

        Hey Lee, be thankful you have still have a job. Try being laid off and unemployed like me. I’d do cartwheels if I could go back to my old job for a 7% pay cut. Stop whining!

      • @Billy

        Why does he have to stop whining? Corporations take advantage of the fact that they have all the jobs and money. Yes, being out of works sucks, but why do we have to be donkeys and pretend to like it, just to keep a job? What happened to mutual respect and appreciation of a job well done on both sides?

      • vaporland

        Ok, if corporations are people, let’s execute a few in Texas, Virginia or Florida…

      • Groebner

        That “be happy to have a job” is just something I can not hear anymore. The unemployment rate is 9%. That means that 91% have jobs, and can find work. When you think of that, 91% is a pretty big number, so when your boss gives you that line again, maybe you tell him that, yeah, thanks for reminding me that I am not in the bottom 10 percentile.

      • JellyMan

        While no fan of corporate greed, I have a position at a medium sized corporation where I am part of the decision making process for potential layoffs. All I know is that we take layoffs very seriously, and they only come after we’ve determined that operating in the current structure could lead to closing the doors of the company. We do feel a sense of responsibility that when we hire a person, that we should have a solid enough plan in place to keep their position intact, but it’s not always that simple. No one likes pay cuts, layoffs, etc – but when the landscape changes, companies have to adjust or potentially close doors and affect even more jobs.

        All this being said, I love The Simpsons, would love to see it stay on, and hope both sides come to a reasonable deal – but I do feel that Mr. Shearer’s public statement is nothing more than a tactic to get us to somehow think this is some sort of oppression, or one-sided corporate greed issue, when it’s really greed vs. greed.

  • someguy

    The show died years ago.

    • Greg

      That’s really not the point moron.

  • Bob Furapples

    Gee, Maybe Seth McFarland can put on another crappy show. Simpsons have always been a treat to watch. Give out some love you greedy Fox!

    • channingtaintum

      He already is Bob, it’s called The Flintstones.

    • Ralph Wiggum

      My cat’s breath smells like cat food.

      • Bobby’s Robot

        It tastes like burning.

      • JD

        Super Nintendo Chamers!

    • Du

      Amen, Bob!

  • mr burns aka rupert murdoch

    crush him like a bug…

  • Jenni

    I am sorry but the show has been on for 23 years and you are just NOW asking for a share of it’s profits!Why didn’t you ask 10 or 15 or 20 year ago when The Simpsons was still the only hit show on Fox’s schedule and they would’ve paid anything?

    • DThor

      I agree with you Jenni. No one will cry foul if this show is pulled from the airwaves at this point. Harry Shearer has the option to walk… and see how important he actually is to the continued success of the show.

      • Matt

        Yeah, Jenni, DThor: they have tried negotiating for a share of the profits before.

    • ol

      Um, the first words of his statement says “For many years now,..” So that implies they HAVE asked for it in the past.

      • naynay

        He definitely made it clear this is not the first time they’re asking for a fair share. Maybe some people should just stay by the tv and leave reading comprehension to the adults.

      • mikepete

        LOL!!!! Perfect…

      • RyRyNYC

        NayNay for the win…

      • DThor

        Right and they HAVE NOT RECEIVED IT – so now, 23 seasons in – they ask again? For every year this show continues, Fox has less and less interest in any additional compensation for anyone involved. They’ve milked this cow year in and year out. If it went away now, FOX would shed about half a tear. Harry Shearer has had over two decades of steady, above-average salary, residuals, and additional career doors opening as a result of his association with this show. For him to complain so loudly at this stage of the game is like the last kid who leaves a birthday party and bitches he didn’t get enough cake.

    • Bebe

      My thoughts exactly. Why did they wait so long??

      • Sue1

        “For many years now, the cast of “The Simpsons” has been trying to get Fox to agree that, like so many other people who’ve contributed significantly to the show’s success, we be allowed a tiny share of the billions of dollars in profits the show has earned” FOR MANY YEARS NOW. First sentence of his statement. Jeeze…

    • me

      Actually the share of the profits comes up regularly in the contract negotiations. The last time the contracts were up the actors asked for a piece of the profits and were denied. This is common for any successful show not just The Simpsons. And I agree that asking for a part of the profit is an acceptable counter for being asked to take a paycut. The money New Corp will “loose” to the actors will be more then made up for with the new material being put out in the seasons covered by the new contract.

    • Ralph

      It does say that Fox has “consistently refused to even consider” profit sharing, but I believe that the voice actors have accepted this in the past because their salaries have continued to rise. Now Fox is asking them to put their salaries almost in half, and while they would still make more than most Americans, they are asking to participate in the profits generated, which in large part are based on their contributions. I see nothing unfair about this.

      • Dee

        200k x 23 eps = buttload of money.

        And don’t forget residuals, as per the union. Any speaking toy, endorsement deal that uses their voice? Payola.

        My heart bleeds for them. Really.

    • DOH

      STOP hating The Simpsons. Its a good show. If you don’t like it that is you, but for the millions of fans out there, if The Simpsons does get off the air it would be a tear jerking moment. And I do not know where you get your facts, but please read before you say things.

    • Mina

      They are welcome to negotiate for a better deal. Why not? If you knew the billions of dollars these entertainment entities make every year, you’d be sick.
      I say spread the money around. The actors and annimators and crew work for it, let them have a piece of the action.

      • no

        They get a piece of the action. It is called a salary

      • Tonka

        But isn’t that the point? They’re agreeing to a cut in salary to get through the hard times. Then when profits go back up, they get paid. Benefits both parties. But since Fox is balking, I think they aren’t going through hard times. I think their business model hasn’t changed and they just want to squeeze more money out of the show by cutting salaries.
        So, no, they aren’t getting their salary anymore. They’re told cut back or no job at all.

      • Du

        I agree. The fact is that the show makes more for them dead than alive at this point, and Fox is scapegoating the actors.

      • yes

        lets just remind everyone that the Simpsons helped make fox big!!!!!

  • Frank

    I love the simpsons, i have bought every season that is avaiable, and i hope the show continues for a while longer. I do agree that what they get paid just for providing their voices to cartoon characters may seem like a lot, but it your show make 100 million a year or something, based on the vocals and personality that you gave the characters, i can see how an actor would feel ripped off. Thye bring those characters to life, and since there are enough shows to be on tiv for the rest of eternity, i cant say that the simpsons will ever go away. I wont really turn in for sunday animation domination any more, though. The new cartoons they are trying to make for that night really suck, so if the simpsons go, that frees up my sunday nights for other shows. Give them a piece of the pie, Rupert. You cant take it with when you die, so give it to the people who make you the money in the first place.

    • Bobby’s Robot

      Agreed. The Simpsons probably beats every other prime-time show with merchandising profits by a wide margin. The show would not have been a money-making machine for FOX for almost a quarter of a century if it wasn’t for Harry, Dan, Julie, Hank, etc.

  • Michael

    I’ll be really upset if “The Simpsons” goes off the air at the end of the season. It’s season 23…I’m 26…so I grew up with the show. While the show certainly had its creative peak many years ago, it is by no means a bad show now. It still brings a lot of laughs and entertainment. I think Fox is really looking like the bad guy in all of this. A deep pay cut for a share in the profits seems like it should work. Of course I don’t know how this type of thing works, but it still makes Fox look really bad.

  • Dohhh!

    I am sure that he did not need to share this missive with his bosses at Fox because they probably hacked his phone. Fox has some great shows but definitely is THE EVIL EMPIRE. I am 100% with Harry but the show is toast

  • Jenni

    One more thing, the voice actors are paid 750,000 an episode and only do 3 episodes a week.Yeardley Smith herself(who plays Lisa) said that they only work about 4 hours those days.And they have received millions from the syndication deals as she even admitted.So stop acting like a hero 23 years is long enough for any show.

    • Michael

      The voice actors are paid about half of what you just quoted per episode. While it’s still a ton of money, “The Simpsons” is a HUGE industry in itself so it’s a reasonable salary. I don’t think anyone is “acting like a hero.” The fact is, this is a show that people seem to enjoy. You don’t. That’s fine. But that doesn’t mean the show should go off the air.

      • naynay

        He also made it clear that by normal standards they are making a crazy amount of money, but by Hollywood standards they are getting ripped off. Again with the reading comprehension…

    • johnny

      Both comments now, It was mentioned that they have asked for profit sharing in the past, and now that Fox is asking them to take a pay cut, they are again broaching the subject. The point is not that they have made very good livings doing this, it is that compared to those receiving profit sharing, the voice actors’ share is considerably small.

    • GG

      No, the actors don’t make money off the syndication deal. That’s the point.

      If fox wants the actors to take a pay cut, they should be offering something in return. That’s what a negotiation is.

      • Amy



        1ST USE 2ND USE 3-13 USES 14 USES OR MORE
        $445.30 $106.25 $84.55 EA. $38.40 EA.

        Considering just in my area, the Simpsons airs 3 times a weekday, that is an as$load of money for having worked four hours a day, three hours a week, on top of a very high salary.

        Why get paid twice for what you do? Does a guy who paints houses get paid at that rate when people look at his work?

      • WI

        Wow Amy, don’t go away mad, just go away.

    • Du

      Jenni, you’re wrong. Those numbers are bogus.

    • dee-dee

      Another moron. Do you really think they were paid $750,000 from day one?

  • Seanti

    What? A corporation that refuses to reward valuable employees without whom the success of the product would not exist? Shocking.

    • PJ

      I would take his salary.

  • Roekest

    Definitely Flanders….in a good way.

    The Simpsons (along with Married with Children) MADE Fox. Those 2 shows alone made that fledgling network into a household name. I’m surprised they haven’t gotten a cut of the profits already. That seems ludicrous.

    Maybe all of this wouldn’t have happened if Rupert kept his other employees in the UK from spying on parents of murdered kids and members of Parliament.

    • Squishmar

      Damn, you’re harsh. I love it!

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