Harry Shearer, the voice of a number of characters on “The Simpsons,” has stepped up to the plate in an ongoing dispute over compensation for the actors that threatens to derail the long-running animated Fox hit, according to Entertainment Weekly.
Shearer, the voice of Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Kent Brockman, Smithers and other characters, issued a statement in which he offered to take a pay cut of more than 70% in an effort to save the show — and in exchange for participation in backend profits.
The proposed pay cut is considerably greater than the reported 45% cut that the network has proposed for the actors. But profit participation has reportedly been a sticking point.
Shearer says in the statement: "The Fox people said [there were] 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 ‘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."