A performer who has been a fixture on “The Simpsons” since its inception in 1989 is off the show due to a contract dispute, according to media reports.
TMZ.com reports that Harry Shearer, who has provided the voices for a number of key characters, is bowing out after contract talks hit an impasse.
Shearer has reportedly voiced more than 100 characters during the show’s long run, notably providing the voices of Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, Kent Brockman, the Rev. Lovejoy, Dr. Hibbert and Smithers, among many others. He won an Emmy last year for Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance for his work on the show.
“According to Shearer … co-creator and executive producer James L. Brooks’ attorney broke the news that Harry would ‘not be part of’ the show going forward,” TMZ reports.
After Fox recently extended its order for another two years, Shearer was the last cast member to hold out, TMZ notes. Shearer, 71, reportedly refused to sign because of concerns over his back end and merchandising.
CNN reports that Shearer walked away from a $14 million offer.
TMZ notes that Shearer announced Wednesday on Twitter that he left to give himself “freedom to do other work.”