'Simpsons' Cancellation Will Be the Result of Everyone's Greed

There have been a flurry of news articles lately about The Simpsons coming to an end, and I can't say I've been too concerned about the possibility. I was once a die-hard fan, and I can still rattle off hundreds of quotes from my favorite episodes, but if you ask me, the show hasn't really been great for at least a decade. Despite its downward spiral, it just keeps going—hearing that The Simpsons' current 23rd season might be its last was causing me no sorrow.

However, now that I've read about some of the money issues behind The Simpsons' potential demise, I have a new opinion. Which is this: both the studio and the actors are being insufferable, so FINE. GET IT OFF THE AIR ALREADY.

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So here's what happened. Fox came out with a statement that the studio "cannot produce future seasons under its current financial model,” and that it hoped for “an agreement with the voice cast that allows The Simpsons to go on entertaining audiences with original episodes for many years to come.” In other words, Fox wanted the voice actors to take a pay cut. A BIG pay cut, actually: a 45 percent reduction in their salaries.

Ouch, right? Except this wouldn't exactly put The Simpsons folks on food stamps—we're still talking about a crapload of money. The actors were being asked to accept cuts to their salaries from the current $440,000 per episode to $250,000.


That right there has me losing some sympathy for the actors, because really, you'd rather kill the cash cow entirely instead of taking a cut the way most of America has had to over the last few years? Is $250,000 PER EPISODE really unacceptable?


Apparently so, because the actors came prepared for battle. They commissioned a study estimating The Simpsons has made $1 billion in profits over its 23-season run—then countered with an offer of a 30 percent cut, along with a small piece of the show's lucrative back-end profits (which includes merchandise, syndication, and DVD sales).


Fox rejected this, and the latest news is that while several top level Simpsons producers have agreed to the pay cuts in order to keep the show on the air, the actors and the studio have yet to come to terms.


All in all, I can't get behind either side in this disagreement. It's like hearing about NFL salary disputes—to me, it's a bunch of ridiculously rich people complaining about how they all want to make even more money. I mean, I'd try and identify with this horrible problem, but first I need to make sure I can make my mortgage payment this month, you know?


There's no denying that The Simpsons is a well-loved television institution. It is, after all, the longest-running comedy series on U.S. television. But if the studio and actors can't figure out how to be fair about the millions everyone's raking in, I say it's high time for The Simpsons to take its ball and go home. Twenty-three seasons are more than enough for any show, if you ask me.


What's your take on The Simpsons dispute? Will you care if it gets cancelled?



Image via Fox

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