According to a new report by The Daily Beast, the actors are in a tense contract negotiation with 20th Century Fox. Contract negotiations aren't new for the long-running cartoon comedy, but the report -- which Fox didn't comment on -- says studio executives are insisting the cast accept a 45 percent pay cut or face cancellation after the current season.
The ultimatum was reportedly delivered on Mon., Oct. 3. The actors have countered the 45 percent cut with a 30 percent pay cut in exchange for some of the show's back-end profits from syndication and merchandising. Those profits account for billions of dollars for Fox.
Currently Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Hank Azari and Harry Shearer each earn about $8 million per year. The studio's proposed cut would see them each making about $4 million a year. The cast previously renegotiated their contracts in 2008 bringing their per episode salary to around $500,000 an episode.
"Fox is taking the position that unless they can cut the production costs really drastically, they'll pull the plug on new shows," a 'Simpsons' source told The Daily Beast. "The actors are willing to take a pay cut of roughly a third, but that's not good enough for Fox."
In the past, Fox has threatened to replace cast. That almost happened to 'Futurama' when it was revived by Comedy Central in 2009, but the network quickly settled contracts with the cast after fan outcry.
'The Simpsons' makes billions for Fox and will make even more even after it ends. The network has even toyed with the idea of starting an entire network devoted to 'The Simpsons.'
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