close menu
THE SIMPSONS Showrunner Speaks Out About Harry Shearer’s Departure

THE SIMPSONS Showrunner Speaks Out About Harry Shearer’s Departure

Earlier this week, fans of The Simpsons were stunned when veteran voice actor Harry Shearer — the man behind Mr. Burns, Waylon Smithers, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, Kent Brockman, and many other Simpsons characters — announced that he was quitting the series after 26 seasons.

Shearer cited his need for “freedom to do other work” as his reason for leaving. However, The Simpsons showrunner Al Jean expressed puzzlement over Shearer’s actions during a lengthy interview with The Hollywood Reporter.

“Harry tweeted something to the extent that he was leaving the show — implying he wasn’t wanted — which isn’t true,” said Jean. “We made him an offer and we’re once more saying, ‘Do you want to come back like everybody else and work hard and care about the show? Great.’ He said he wanted to do other projects, which makes no sense because we’ve always let the cast do all the other projects they want — they have great free time.”

“This is why I’m really baffled,” continued Jean. “He’s saying it’s not the money, and it can’t be money because there’s not going to be a different offer he’s going to get… It can’t be the availability to do other projects, and it isn’t that the deal is different than his other cast members… If he said, ‘I want freedom to do stuff,’ he has it. If he wants a deal different than the cast, he can’t get it. I don’t know what else you could want with this job. It’s pretty simple. If you really didn’t want to do it then, yeah. I really don’t understand it.”

Jean noted that the rest of The Simpsons voice cast signed their new deals on May 1, shortly before Fox announced a two season renewal that will carry the series through its 28th season. Further, Jean insisted that Shearer’s iconic Simpsons characters will not be killed off and that they will be recast if necessary. He also cited Shearer’s lack of participation in The Simpsons theme park rides for Universal Studios and Universal Orlando as proof that nobody missed him.

However, a brief voiceover on a theme park attraction is not the same thing as another actor or actors taking over those characters on a full-time basis. Those roles can be recast, but the transition may not be as easy as Jean makes it sound.

“I want to stress that we’d really like him to come back,” added Jean. “We’re not forcing him out. I’m genuinely confused by what he’s saying, and I hope he calls [James L. Brooks].”

9 Actors Who Should Play Batman if Ben Affleck Leaves

9 Actors Who Should Play Batman if Ben Affleck Leaves

article
STAR WARS Sex Toys Are a Real Thing You Can Buy Right Now

STAR WARS Sex Toys Are a Real Thing You Can Buy Right Now

article
Can You Hear the Sound in the Silent Gif of Power Lines Playing Jump Rope?

Can You Hear the Sound in the Silent Gif of Power Lines Playing Jump Rope?

article