Ay caramba! 'Simpsons' for axe in pay row
Published 06/10/2011 | 05:00
IT is one of the most popular shows in the world and one of the longest running, but d'oh, 'The Simpsons' could soon be axed.
The American Fox TV network has announced that it can no longer afford to produce long-running animated comedy unless its staff take a pay cut.
Fox issued a statement saying that while the smash-hit series "can and should continue", it could not produce future seasons "under its current financial model".
Fox made the comment after reports it threatened to end the series unless its voice actors took a 45pc pay cut.
The cast reportedly earn $8m (€6m) each per series.
US news website 'The Daily Beast' reported that the principal voice cast members, including Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright and Yeardley Smith, were having difficulty agreeing contracts for the next series.
It said the cast had unsuccessfully tried to negotiate a 30pc pay cut in return for a percentage of the show's profits from syndication and merchandising.
Fox added in its statement: "We are hopeful that we can reach an agreement with the voice cast that allows 'The Simpsons' to go on entertaining audiences with original episodes for many years to come."
The show has a long history of pay disputes between the cast and Fox.