The long-running animated Fox series "The Simpsons" may shut down next spring as the six actors who voice the program’s characters have reached a negotiating impasse over pay, reports the Daily Beast.
Fox is insisting that if the cast doesn’t take a 45% pay cut, "The Simpsons" will end production of new episodes, the piece notes.
In a statement, 20th Century Fox, the studio that produces the program, said: "We believe this brilliant series can and should continue, but we cannot produce future seasons under its current financial model. We are hopeful that we can reach an agreement with the voice cast that allows ‘The Simpsons’ to go on entertaining audiences with original episodes for many years to come."
The impasse comes after Fox turned down the actors’ proposal to take a 30% pay cut in exchange for a stake in the show’s back-end profits, the report notes.
The actors — Dan Castellaneta (Homer); Julie Kavner (Marge); Nancy Cartwright (Bart); Yeardley Smith (Lisa); Hank Azaria (Moe Szyslak); and Harry Shearer (Mr. Burns) — each earn about $8 million annually for 22 weeks of work, the article says. Under the studio’s planned pay cut, each would earn about $4 million per year, the piece says.