It appears Harry Shearer, the voice of many characters on "The Simpsons," including Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner and more, is leaving the animated series after 26 seasons. The comedian revealed on Twitter on Wednesday night that he wouldn't be returning to the series, which has been picked up for the 27th and 28th seasons on Fox.
from James L. Brooks' lawyer: "show will go on, Harry will not be part of it, wish him the best.". (1/2)— Harry Shearer (@theharryshearer) May 14, 2015
This because I wanted what we've always had: the freedom to do other work. Of course, I wish him the very best. (2/2)— Harry Shearer (@theharryshearer) May 14, 2015
"Simpsons" showrunner and executive producer Al Jean later tweeted:
James L. Brooks, who developed and executive produces "The Simpsons," tweeted:
Hey, we tried. We're still trying. Harry, no kidding, let's talk.— james l. brooks (@canyonjim) May 14, 2015
Shearer was reportedly the last cast member to resist signing the new contract. Though Shearer has said the issue was not about money. Over the series' quarter-century run, the voice actors have each made millions from "The Simpsons," and are still among the highest paid performers on television.
The characters Shearer voiced will be recast, leading some to publicly throw their hat into the ring, including comedian Todd Barry.
Hey @TheSimpsons, I'll replace Harry Shearer for just 85% of what you paid him.— Todd Barry (@toddbarry) May 14, 2015
Author Neil Gaiman, who was a guest voice on "The Simpsons" in 2011, wrote:
@theharryshearer I'm glad we got to be in something together. Not just because it puts me one Kevin Bacon point away from Jack Benny.— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) May 14, 2015
Other fans reacted in a variety of ways, many seeking employment:
Got the feeling my Harry Shearer impersonation is about to pay off in a big way.— Just Bill (@WilliamAder) May 14, 2015
Groening is getting flooded with emails today: "Well I do a killer Flanders, but my Burns is shaky at best." #HarryShearer— Christopher Sauer (@cjsauer) May 14, 2015
I'll polish my Mr. Burns up just in case. http://t.co/VQXOnl6gis you may not want to hang around me for awhile.— William Griffin (@wogriffin) May 14, 2015
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