Actor Harry Shearer, who voices nasty rich guy Monty Burns on The Simpsons, has broken with the other cast members of the show over proposed salary cuts. Fox Television has stated it cannot continue to film The Simpsons without drastic salary cuts for the cast. While Harry Shearer has said he will agree with having his salary cut, he would also like to cash in on the “billions of dollars” in profits the show has generated, which he says Fox is unwilling to share.
20th Century Fox Television has asked the entire cast of The Simpsons to take a 45% pay cut in order to keep the show in production. According to TMZ, the whole cast has been negoiating with the network as a groups, until now. Harry Shearer — who is the voice behind Mr. Burns, Smithers, Ned Flanders and other characters — has now come out with his own suggestion for a deal he’d be comfortable with.
“For many years now, the cast of The Simpsons has been trying to get Fox to agree that, like so many other people whoâ€™ve contributed significantly to the showâ€™s success, we be allowed a tiny share of the billions of dollars in profits the show has earned,” Shearer said in a press statement.
“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,” Shearer continued. “… I thought it might make sense for at least one member of the cast to speak out directly.”
Shearer said that he is willing to not only cut his salary by the 45% Fox is asking, but cut it by a whopping 70% if only they will let the cast in on the profit sharing from The Simpsons. “All I would ask in return is that I be allowed a small share of the eventual profits,” Shearer said.
According to Shearer, the network came right back with a hell to the no about any idea of sharing profits. “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 showâ€™s success,” Shearer said.
Shearer noted in his statement that he was “speaking only for myself, and not for any of the other actors on the show.” He also said he hopes that Fox’s denial of profit-sharing won’t be their final word on the subject 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.”
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