A salary dispute that threatened to end production of The Simpsons has been resolved. Fox just released a statement confirming that the long-running animated comedy will exist long enough to have its 24th and 25th seasons.
This morning, Simpsons cast member Harry Shearer released his own statement explaining that what Fox was attempting to do — slash the cast’s salary by 45 percent — was unfair. His statement, in part, read:
…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% but more than 70% – 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.
My representatives broached this idea to Fox yesterday, asking the network how low a salary number I would have to accept to make a profit participation feasible. My representatives were told there was no such number. 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.
Though details of the new contract have not been released, obviously the show is no longer in danger of dying after its 23rd season, which starts Oct. 30 at 8 pm ET with an episode titled “Treehouse of Horrors XXII.”