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'The Simpsons'' Harry Shearer Will Take Pay Cut, Just Wants Show to Keep Going

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Oct 07, 2011 | 9:33am EDT

Burns and SmithersClearly, we're not the only ones who aren't too thrilled with the turmoil The Simpsons is facing do to financing issues. In case you haven't heard, Fox has threatened to terminate The Simpsons at the end of this season if the cast is not willing to take a 45 percent pay decrease. Yesterday, Fox further stated that even with the pay decrease, The Simpsons would likely not continue on past one additional season on the network. Although most of the cast has been silent on the issue (funnily enough, considering 'talking' is their primary job description), one of the voice actors has vocalized his stance on the issue: Harry Shearer (who plays a vast array of characters including Ned Flanders, Mr. Burns, Waylon Smithers and Principal Skinner).

Said Shearer earlier today, "If pay cuts are what it will take to keep the show on the air, then cut my pay. In fact, to make it as easy as possible for Fox to keep new episodes of The Simpsons coming, I'm willing to let them cut my salary not just 45 percent but more than 70 percent—down to half of what they said they would be willing to pay us. All I would ask in return is that I be allowed a small share of the eventual profits."  Shearer further highlighted Fox's unwillingness to grant this to he or any of the other castmembers in previous talks: "There were, the Fox people said, simply no circumstances under which the network would consider allowing me or any of the actors to share in the show's success." However, he is hoping for a change in the network's perspective soon.

Shearer made a point of noting that he does not speak on behalf of any of his fellow castmembers: this statement applies solely to him, unless and until we hear otherwise from the rest of the team behind The Simpsons (which includes Dan CastanellaNancy CartwrightJulie KavnerYeardley Smith and Hank Azaria).

Some of Shearer's additional Simpsons characters include Otto the busdriver, Homer's friend and coworker Lenny, Dr. Hibbert, news anchor Kent Brockman, Reverend Lovejoy, action star Ranier Wolfcastle, retiree Jasper Beardley, music teacher Dewey Largo, police officer Eddie, Judge Roy Snyder, war veteran/amputee Herman, Kang the alien and Scratchy (of The Itchy and Scratchy Show).

Source: Hollywood Reporter

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