The voice cast of THE SIMPSONS has stopped working to force Twentieth Century Fox TV to finalize their new contracts, reported VARIETY. The cast's previous three-year contracts expired several months back. Apparently, the cast has not showed up for two script readings over the past few weeks. Actors participating in the stoppage include Dan Castellaneta (Homer), Hank Azaria (Moe, Apu, Comic Book Guy), Harry Shearer (Mr. Burns and others), Yeardley Smith (Lisa), Julie Kavner (Marge) and Nancy Cartwright (Bart).
The trade paper quotes insiders saying that the actors are looking for $360,000 an episode. They earn $125,000 an episode currently. In comparison, Ray Romano, the highest paid TV actor, receives between $1.7 million and $2 million per episode for the series, EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND.
This isn't the first cast dispute in SIMPSONS' history. In 1988, the cast held out for higher wages when they were making only $30,000 per episode. Despite Fox holding casting calls for replacement actors, the two sides finally came to an agreement.