According to the Hollywood Reporter, the cast has agreed to a pay cut to keep the show going. However, it's not as steep as the 45 percent previously reported, nor does the new deal include back end profits from licensing, syndication and merchandise.
The show's producers have already agreed to budget cuts to keep the show going, but they reportedly have back end profit deals the actors do not.
'Simpsons' voice actor Harry Shearer, the voice of Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders and Principal Skinner among others, released a statement on Fri., Oct. 7 saying he would have taken an even bigger salary cut if Fox agreed to letting the actors in on merchandising profits. Fox did not back down.
"Fox wants to cut our salaries in half because it says it can't afford to continue making the show under what it calls the existing business model," he wrote. "Fox hasn't explained what kind of new business model it has formulated to keep the show on the air, but clearly the less money they have to pay us in salary, the more they're able to afford to continue broadcasting the show. And to this I say, fine -- if pay cuts are what it will take to keep the show on the air, then cut my pay. In fact, 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 percent but more than 70 percent -- 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."
The salary stalemate began on Mon., Oct. 3. Fox released a statement on Tues., Oct. 4 claiming the show could not go on in its current production model.
"23 seasons in, 'The Simpsons' is as creatively vibrant as ever and beloved by millions around the world. We believe this brilliant series can and should continue, but we cannot produce future seasons under its current financial model," the studio said. "We are hopeful that we can reach an agreement with the voice cast that allows 'The Simpsons' to go on entertaining audiences with original episodes for many years to come."
There has been no official confirmation from the actors or the studio.
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