The Simpsons

Though it's literally been on the air for my entire lifetime, The Simpsons may finally be coming to an end, thanks not to the fact that it jumped the shark years ago, but to a serious salary dispute between the show's voice actors and Fox executives.

Essentially, the core cast — comprised of Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Hank Azaria, and Harry Shearer — has asked for a thirty-percent cut to their usual $8-million per year salaries, in exchange for "a tiny percentage of the show’s huge back-end profits." Fox, however, has threatened to pull the show entirely if the actors don't agree to a forty-five percent cut instead. A show insider explained:

"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. The actors are willing to take a pay cut of roughly a third, but that’s not good enough for Fox... Now Fox is basically saying, 'If you don’t take this deal, we’ll shut down the show,' and they’ll continue to make a ton of money. They’re free to sell it to cable and a second round of syndication, and they figure that the cast has very little leverage."

Show creators James L. Brooks and Matt Groening already receive a percentage of the back-end profits, and the cast argue that their significant creative input entitles them to a similar deal, rather than a nearly fifty-percent cut to their salaries. If a deal isn't agreed to, the show will cease production at the end of the current season next spring. Even if The Simpsons has creatively been off its game for a while now, it seems like the network would still get a better deal keeping it on the air than cancelling it just to prove a financial point. Regardless of the outcome, we can still soothe ourselves with memories from simpler, happier times:

Commentarium (16 Comments)

Oct 04 11 - 2:45pm

So they are making $8M a year and to make more money on the back end they want to make $5.6M. Fox says we'll pay you $4.4M and give you the back end.

Really, $1.2M difference here in the annual take home pay. I'd take that once in my life and be damned happy.

But as Gordon Geko said "Greed is good" and both parties involved sound pretty damned greedy.

Oct 04 11 - 2:57pm

Where's Berrnie Sanders, "When is enough enough?" ... funny, lib entertainers don't seem to be immune to greed!!!

Oct 04 11 - 4:47pm

Stupid libtards.

Oct 04 11 - 10:26pm

Aaaaaaaaaand obvious troll is obvious.

Oct 04 11 - 3:05pm

Pigs get fat; hogs get slaughtered.

Oct 04 11 - 3:47pm

People are so invested in the idea that The Simpsons has jumped the shark they haven't noticed that the quality has actually improved quite a bit in the last two seasons. It'd be a bummer if the show got cancelled just as it's getting better.

Oct 04 11 - 3:53pm
Virginia Smith

I'm not invested in the idea, I want it to be good! But every time I watch a new episode lately, I end up disappointed and a little uncomfortable.

Oct 05 11 - 1:36pm

What, you didn't like the episode with Superintendant Chalmers? Cammaaaaaaan!

Oct 04 11 - 5:56pm

Hating rich people solely on the basis that they're rich is no different than hating blacks solely on the basis that they're black.

If the media corp. and the merchandising firms are making gobs of money off of the franchise, why shouldn't the actors get a cut of that?

Oct 04 11 - 7:02pm

So $8M a year isn't enough?
Greed is greed.
I guess I'd change my mind if they all promised to send 75% of their income to the government.
Really, who needs more then $1M a year to live on.
I deserve my cut

Oct 04 11 - 8:27pm

heck, $50,000 and i'd feel rich beyond my wildest dreams!

Oct 04 11 - 10:27pm

It's not about being rich enough, it's about giving the workers who manufacture the show a fair deal.

Oct 05 11 - 7:59am

@really: who gave you the authority to decide how much is enough for anyone other than yourself? Instead of being insanely jealous of these folks to the point of wanting their income redistributed (to the government, no less?!??!?!?!!), you should aspire to their level of success.

Oct 05 11 - 9:51am


You don't get it do you. These people are slightly left of Stalin. They are the Hollywood elite, who demand that they tax the rich more, yet don't step up and hand it over freely, because they want everyone to suffer equally.

Next time I'll use my irony font, next time you put on your catchers mitt and maybe you'll catch my drift.

Oct 05 11 - 10:57am

Once again, the trolls miss the point entirely and probably on purpose.

Oct 05 11 - 9:26pm
Koch Brothers

I pay them well.