Harry Shearer is off the show
Over the weekend, TMZ reports that Harry Shearer will no longer be involved with The Simpsons. Shearer, who does the voice work for Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, Waylon Smithers, Kent Brockman, Dr. Hibbert, and more male characters on the show, had been involved in contract negotiations over the show's upcoming seasons.
Reportedly, Shearer was fine with the salary offer they had made, but he was having some issues with their agreement as to the rights for the back-end and merchandising. Which are substantial when it comes to The Simpsons, for sure, but was it really worth leaving the show over?
What will The Simpsons be like without Harry Shearer? Can he be persuaded to come back? Would the show's producers change their minds on Shearer's contracts? I'm not sure I would want to watch The Simpsons with someone else doing Mr. Burns' voice. How weird would that be? And yet, Shearer voiced too many high-profile characters to simply write them out or retire them, as has happened with previous actors.
Hard to say what's in store for The Simpsons after this, to be sure.