Report: Money Battles May End 'The Simpsons'
D'oh. Say in ain't so!
The Daily Beast is reporting today that 20 Century Fox executives have recently delivered an ultimatum to cast members of "The Simpsons," asking them to take an unheard of 45% pay cut in order to keep original episodes of the series on the air.
The actors in the long-running animated television classic had already agreed to take a sizable paycut in return for future profits.
"The ultimatum was delivered Monday evening as Fox spurned the actors’ proposal—delivered late last week—to take around a 30 percent pay cut in exchange for a tiny percentage of the show’s huge back-end profits—amounting to untold billions—from syndication of the show around the globe and merchandising of Simpsons clothing, lunchboxes, stamps, DVDs, a feature film and video games, among other paraphernalia. The series is produced by the 20th Century Fox studio and aired by the Fox network, both News Corp. companies, but the studio reaps the ancillary rewards," said the publication.
According to reports, Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Hank Azaria, and Harry Shearer, the voice talent behind the show's success, each earn about $8 million a year currently, and would end up making around $4 million a piece under the new deal, if they chose to accept it.
Of course the real battle here is in regards to back-end cash, as The Simpsons will continue to rake in syndication revenue for potentially decades to come.
Will money squabbles be the end of Marge, Homer, Lisa and Maggie, or will 20th Century Fox learn to shed their Burns-like ways and keep one of the greatest comedy series of all-time afloat?
Let us know what you think of the kerfuffle in the comments, and check out what we think of the money battle below.