Legendary actor Harry Shearer has left The Simpsons after turning down a deal that every other performer accepted as the show was renewed for seasons 27 and 28.
Shearer voiced Mr. Burns, Mr. Smithers, Ned Flanders, Reverend Lovejoy, Kent Brockman, Dr. Hibbert, Lenny, Principal Skinner, Otto, Rainier Wolfcastle and several other recurring characters on The Simpsons.
“From James L. Brooks’ lawyer: ‘show will go on, Harry will not be part of it, wish him the best.’ This because I wanted what we’ve always had: the freedom to do other work. Of course, I wish him the very best.” Shearer tweeted.
Showrunner Al Jean revealed after the announcement that the characters Shearer was famous for performing will not be killed off but instead recast. The actor had been vocal in the past few years about wanting to leave the series even though he, along with the rest of the main cast, made around $300,000 per episode and Shearer recorded his lines remotely from his house.
Shearer revealed recently, the following quote on the WTF podcast while being interviewed by Marc Maron:
“It is true that as an actor on an insanely successful TV series I am by any standards of the human species obscenely overpaid. It is also that as an actor on one of the most insanely successful TV series of all-time I am getting royally screwed. Both things are true! I happen to be the guy who was in the lead when negotiating time came. I don’t necessarily enjoy fights but I don’t shrink from them, and when you’re negotiating money with Rupert Murdoch and a couple other extremely lucre-oriented people you’re in a fight, you’re in a bar fight if not a bum fight.”
During his last Twitter update Shearer simply said, “Thanks, Simpsons fans, for your support.”