Dateline: SPRINGFIELD USA Harry Shearer, who voices Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, the Rev. Lovejoy, Dr. Hibbert and Kent Brockman (among other characters) on “The Simpsons” and has been a part of the animated sitcom since it’s debut as a sketch on “The Tracey Ullman Show,” has turned down what is reported as a new $14 million deal.
Rumours on the gossip site TMZ recently suggested one actor was not signed up to the newly announced 27th and 28th seasons, thanks to disputes over profit sharing and merchandising, though Shearer wasn’t named.
“Harry Shearer was offered the same deal the rest of the cast accepted, and passed,” said “The Simpsons” showrunner Al Jean in a statement. “Shearer was offered the same deal as the rest of the cast, but turned it down. 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.” Earlier on Thursday morning a fan asked Al Jean if there’s still a chance Shearer might stay, Jean replied, “In life I never say never.”