Disappointing news today for fans of The Simpsons. Longtime voice actor Harry Shearer has quit the show just as contracts were being signed for the upcoming Season 27 and Season 28. While Harry Shearer did not agree with the terms of his new FOX contract, that doesn't mean his characters are going away. It has been confirmed that they will all be recast.
Harry Shearer has voiced many characters on The Simpsons over the years, some incredibly important to the show, including Ned Flanders, Mr. Burns, Smithers, Seymour Skinner, Dr. Hibbter, Lenny Leonard, Otto and Rev. Lovejoy. In a statement on Twitter, Harry Shearer says he left because he no longer had the freedom to do other projects, something he claims to have been able to do in the past. Current show runner Al Jean countered that with the following statement:
"Harry Shearer was offered the same deal the rest of the cast accepted, and passed. The show will go on and we wish him well. Maggie took it hard. We do not plan to kill off characters like Burns and Flanders but will recast with the finest voiceover talent available."
In all likelihood, the series will not be able to find just one man to take over all the roles Harry Shearer left behind. There have been actor contract disputes in the past, but until now, the core cast has always worked out their differences and remained with the show. How do you feel about Harry Shearer talking a walk? Was he vital to the show? Or do you feel it will move on without much notice? Take a look at the voice actor's tweets:
from James L. Brooks' lawyer: "show will go on, Harry will not be part of it, wish him the best.". (1/2)— Harry Shearer (@theharryshearer) May 14, 2015
This because I wanted what we've always had: the freedom to do other work. Of course, I wish him the very best. (2/2)— Harry Shearer (@theharryshearer) May 14, 2015
Thanks, Simpsons fans, for your support.— Harry Shearer (@theharryshearer) May 14, 2015