After 23 years on TV, The Simpsons might finally be about to come to an end — and all because of a dispute over money.
According to the Daily Beast, 20th Century Fox has demanded that The Simpsons' six main voice actors take a whopping 45 per cent pay cut in any potential future seasons of the show. Naturally, the cast — Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Hank Azaria and Harry Shearer — aren't happy about it.
"The show has made billions in profits over the years and will continue to do so as far as the eye can see down the road," blabbed an insider. "The actors are willing to take a pay cut of roughly a third, but that’s not good enough for Fox."
On the one hand, the actors each currently make about US$8 million a year (approximately US$400,000 per episode), and even if they take the pay cut their salaries will still be more than US$4 million. On the other hand, they've contributed as much to the success of the show as any of its creators, so.
Meanwhile Fox is playing hardball, claiming it "cannot produce future seasons [of The Simpsons] under its current financial model."
This isn't the first time The Simpsons stars have gone head-to-head with Fox: in 1998 the studio threatened to replace the actors with sound-alikes when they demanded pay rises, and there were more money disputes in 2004 and 2008.