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Will a contract dispute end "The Simpsons" after 23 seasons?


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#1 OFFLINE   cj9788

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 08:10 AM

"(CBS) Could we be saying goodbye to "The Simpsons" this spring? The Daily Beast is reporting that 20th Century Fox and the voice talent are butting heads over a new contract.

"Fox is taking the position that unless they can cut the production costs really drastically, they'll pull the plug on new shows," a source close to "The Simpsons" told the Daily Beast. The show is currently in its 23rd season."

I don't know what to make of this, I hope they can get past this and just how willing is FOX to let this piece of Americana die.

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#2 OFFLINE   RunnerFL

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 08:17 AM

I can't blame the cast. Would you take a 45% pay cut?
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#3 OFFLINE   cj9788

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 08:37 AM

I can't blame the cast. Would you take a 45% pay cut?



At my current salary no, but then again if my boss gave me no choice I would have to evaluate is the 45% cut less than what i would make on unemployment.

These folks are making 8 million dollars a year. They are being asked to cut thier pay by about 4 million a year. At those figures I can not honestly understand what is being asked of them. I can only ask, gee do i want to make 4 million a year or nothing at all. They in fact would not be making nothing at all because of the money they are making on syndication deals, so is only earning the syndication money enough for them?

#4 OFFLINE   bidger

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 08:38 AM

I can't blame the cast. Would you take a 45% pay cut?


On my current job, no. But, if I could make $200,000x23 episodes annually, sure. I'm not shedding any tears for them.

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#5 OFFLINE   RunnerFL

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 08:44 AM

At my current salary no, but then again if my boss gave me no choice I would have to evaluate is the 45% cut less than what i would make on unemployment.

These folks are making 8 million dollars a year. They are being asked to cut thier pay by about 4 million a year. At those figures I can not honestly understand what is being asked of them. I can only ask, gee do i want to make 4 million a year or nothing at all. They in fact would not be making nothing at all because of the money they are making on syndication deals, so is only earning the syndication money enough for them?


It's not about the dollar amount. If they said ok to 45% this year what would FOX ask for next year? Another 45%, then another 45%, etc.
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#6 OFFLINE   Stuart Sweet

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 08:46 AM

I can't blame the cast. Would you take a 45% pay cut?


If I had a choice, no. Presuming that I felt confident enough that there was another job that met my needs and at which I could succeed, I would walk out the door the day a 45% pay cut came at me.
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#7 OFFLINE   Earl Bonovich

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 09:00 AM

Obviously the scale of what they are being paid, vs what they are being asked to do... is well,... a major factor in it.

I wouldn't want to see the Simpson's go... but obviously, the cost of the show is WAY WAY up their, and probably isn't even remotely bring in the kind of ad-revenue that it needs to.

8mil -> 4mil, for voice work (where they don't even have to memorize the lines)...

As for the argument, what will Fox ask for next...
Not sure if they are looking for just a 1 year extension year by year... but reality of the current economy has to set in for these actors.

They get to do the voice work, and start in other shows at the same time.
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#8 OFFLINE   Herdfan

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 10:35 AM

I can't blame the cast. Would you take a 45% pay cut?


If I was making $8M per year and was offered half that, I would have to ask myself if I could replace that $8M per year? Could I make $4M per year elsewhere?

The fact is, only Hank Azaria has really had much other work and would probably be fine, but the others would just be mostly unemployed.

#9 OFFLINE   djlong

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 10:40 AM

At those figures I can not honestly understand what is being asked of them. I can only ask, gee do i want to make 4 million a year or nothing at all. They in fact would not be making nothing at all because of the money they are making on syndication deals, so is only earning the syndication money enough for them?


Have they asked the animators, writers and other staff to take a 45% cut?

Let's remember that Fox makes quite a bit from The Simpsons. Merchandising, home video, foreign rights, etc. If the model has worked so far, I could understand a "no raise" position - but a 45% cut when News Corp isn't exactly struggling? I just checked their financials. News Corp's *profit* was up by almost a BILLION dollars to just over $4.5B ($3.7B the previous year).

Yeah. It's an unsustainable business model.

What a pack of liars.

#10 OFFLINE   RunnerFL

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 10:57 AM

If I had a choice, no. Presuming that I felt confident enough that there was another job that met my needs and at which I could succeed, I would walk out the door the day a 45% pay cut came at me.


My thoughts exactly. Now if you take into consideration what they make, instead of just the percentage, I'd quit anyways and live off back pay until I found something else or just retire.
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#11 OFFLINE   RunnerFL

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 10:58 AM

If I was making $8M per year and was offered half that, I would have to ask myself if I could replace that $8M per year? Could I make $4M per year elsewhere?

The fact is, only Hank Azaria has really had much other work and would probably be fine, but the others would just be mostly unemployed.


Again, not talking about the dollar amount. I'm only referring to the percentage. They are asking them to cut their pay in half for the same amount of work.
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#12 OFFLINE   cj9788

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 11:01 AM

I love the Simpson's it premiered on my birthday in 1989. If the Simpson's couch was real it would be on display at the Smithsonian. So I ask again is FOX willing to kill off that piece of Americana. Maybe it is just an endgame for FOX or maybe it is a publicity stunt, or a genuine Hollywood standoff. I just don't want the show to end because of dispute about money.

#13 OFFLINE   RunnerFL

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 11:04 AM

I just don't want the show to end because of dispute about money.


Unfortunately that's how a lot of shows end.
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#14 OFFLINE   cj9788

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 11:04 AM

Again, not talking about the dollar amount. I'm only referring to the percentage. They are asking them to cut their pay in half for the same amount of work.


I believe the percentage is so high because of the dollar amounts that are being paid. Lets say the actors were making the SAG minimum, I would be certain there would be no demand by FOX to cut the payments by 45% 35% 25% ect.....

#15 OFFLINE   Herdfan

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 11:27 AM

Let's remember that Fox makes quite a bit from The Simpsons. Merchandising, home video, foreign rights, etc. If the model has worked so far, I could understand a "no raise" position - but a 45% cut when News Corp isn't exactly struggling?

Yeah. It's an unsustainable business model.


Unsustainable enough that they seem like they are willing to walk away from it.

#16 OFFLINE   cj9788

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 11:41 AM

Unsustainable enough that they seem like they are willing to walk away from it.



Thats why I think it is standoff, who will blink first the actors or the studio. If FOX really is prepared to walk away and end an era in television then I am sure some corporate bean counter has determined that it is financially responsible to end the show.

In the end the actors would basically be the ones losing. Not to mention all the crew in the states and overseas that stand to be the really big losers in this fiasco.

#17 OFFLINE   RobertE

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 12:08 PM

This isn't the first game of chicken played with the Simpsons over the voice over actor wages.

In all honesty, while I would be somewhat sad if it went, it's no longer a must see on a weekly basis for me.
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#18 OFFLINE   matt

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 12:18 PM

Has anyone watched the latest episodes? They are nothing compared to what the show used to be. They are out of ideas. Last weeks episode was about getting the security guard to be friendly and give homer a fist bump.

I love the show, I've watched it since I was little but go watch your Simpsons DVDs and ask yourself if it is as good now as it was in the 90s. It's time to take this dog out behind the shed and put it out of its misery.
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#19 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 02:34 PM

Even though they would still be making a lot of money, don't paint the actors as the bad guys here...

They offered to take a 30% cut if they got some residuals on the back end. FOX said no to that. Why? The back end residuals only have to be paid if profits are made... and those are after the rest of the show has been paid for already... so it is mostly profit at that point and the actors were willing to take most of the pay cut if they got some non-guaranteed bonus on the back end.

FOX doesn't want to give that up, because they know that is good money... I've never heard of an actor willing to take that much of a pay cut for residuals being declined. Usually studios like those deals because it doesn't cost them directly in their budgets.

Also... yeah, I can't cry over people who would still be making 4 million... but I can't believe FOX stating that they need them to take that 45% pay cut OR the show isn't profitable to produce.

IF the budget is that tight, then the show must be tanking with viewers, and should probably be cancelled anyway. Giving the actors residuals would expose that as truth or fiction because IF they get a bunch of residuals, then they would know the show is doing better than FOX wants to share with them.

It's a ruse by FOX to strongarm some voice actors that they think they have over a barrel. I hope the actors don't cave. Whether you like or hate the Simpsons, it would be done without these voice actors.

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#20 OFFLINE   trdrjeff

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 02:51 PM

It's shame $4Mill is something to sneeze at. If they really want to save the show though they should take a good chunk of that 45% and spend it on better writing. I can't take another Bart gets <insert character here> their job after thinking having them gone would be a good thing.
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