The Daily Beast reports that contract negotiations between the six primary voice actors on THE SIMPSONS and FOX could jeopardize the continuation of the longest running sitcom past this current season. Fox execs have threatened to cancel the show if the voice talent doesn't accept a 45% pay decrease. The actors have agreed to take a 30% pay cut with a piece of the back end.
Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Hank Azaria and Harry Shearer earn around $8 million each for the 22 weeks per year that they work on the show. The six have argued that they have added creatively to the series as much as creators James L. Brooks and Matt Groening and deserve to see some of the lucrative back end profits. If the actors don't get the deal they want, they would only receive SAG residual payments after the show stops creating new episodes.