Will The Simpsons be left without its main gay character?

Harry Shearer who voices the openly gay character Waylon Smithers in The Simpson might be leaving the long running comedy possible contract disputes.

Shearer who also voices Ned Flanders, Skinner and Mr Burns is said to be leaving after 26 seasons of the Fox show after a disagreement on the freedom for its actors to take on other work.

The actor who is reportedly paid up to $300,000 per episode has allegedly had contractual disagreements over the voice actors taking on other work, whilst under contract with The Simpsons. In 2011 Shearer released a statement after Fox, the programme’s owners said that they needed to reduce costs as it said the economic model was becoming unviable. The cast including Shearer stated that they would be happy to take a pay cut in order to keep the show running.

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Show executive producer James L. Brooks’ lawyer said: ‘Show will go on, Harry will not be part of it, wish him the best”

Shearer responded with: “This because I wanted what we’ve always had: the freedom to do other work. Of course, I wish him the very best.”

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According to the The Hollywood Reporter the actor was the last hold up in the latest round of re-negotiations of contracts, with the rest of the cast signing up for season 27 and season 28.

Last year Shearer appeared in Daytona with Maureen Lipman.

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