Harry Shearer, the voice of Mr Burns, quits The Simpsons after contract dispute

 

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The Independent Culture

Harry Shearer, who voices characters including Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner and Waylon Smithers, will not return for season 27 and 28 of The Simpsons.

"From James L.  Brooks' lawyer: 'show will go on,  Harry will not be part of it, wish him the best.'," Shearer tweeted. "This because I wanted what we've always had: the freedom to do other work. Of course, I wish him the very best."

It remains to be seen whether The Simpsons will retire some of his characters or find new actors to voice them. I personally want no part of some pseudo-Mr. Burns.

Shearer had been with the cartoon since its Trace Ullman Show origins and was the last cast member to hold out in negotiations for seasons 27 and 28, with the rest all returning.

He also voiced Dr. Hibbert, Lenny Leonard, Kent Brockman, Scratchy and Kang.

Shearer previously tweeted his disapproval of Fox having formally announced the seasons before all the cast were in place for it.

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Ned Flanders may also be leaving Springfield

TMZ has suggested that while Shearer has claimed the 'freedom to do other work' as his reasoning, the issue is with back-end and merchandising payments.

Contract disputes have happened on the show before, with the cast striking script readings in 2004 before receiving pay increases, and taking a cut in 2011 following lengthy negotiations.

Now 26 years and 573 episodes in, it is possible the show could soon finally be retired.

@christophhooton

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