"The Simpsons" just got renewed for its 27th and 28th seasons and this voice actor might just be done.
The end is coming, say your prayers! (via Fox)
Since 1989, Harry Shearer has been voicing some of the most iconic characters on The Simpsons including: Ned Flanders, Reverend Lovejoy, Otto, Dr. Hibbert, MR. BURNS and Kent Brockman. Yes, all those distinct and well-defined voices come out of just one man. Probably when he was coming up with them, he had no idea that the next 26 years would be devoted to this series. As much as I love The Simpsons it's probably hard to stick with just one project for more than half your life. It doesn't look like the show is going to be cancelled anytime soon either– it was just renewed for two more seasons!
Late last night Shearer tweeted these vague messages:
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
Ruh roh. Not a lot of information to take away from this, but SOMETHING is up. According to a message he sent to CNN Money, there have been negotiation issues over whether he is allowed to work outside of the show:
"In last four years, I've created and starred in a UK TV series and starred on London stage. Not stopping."
And according to showrunner Al Jean it's about money:
"[He was] offered the same deal as the rest of the cast, but turned it down."
And here's a tweet from him indicating that whatever happens with Shearer, things are business as usual on set (with voices potentially recast?):
Who knows what goes on behind the scenes on one of the longest running animated series of all time? We probably won't know all the dirt until people write the tell-all books after its cancellation, in fifty years or so. Meanwhile, Simpsons fans have been pouring one out for Harry:
Thanks, Simpsons fans, for your support.— Harry Shearer (@theharryshearer) May 14, 2015