The voice of Mr. Burns is returning. Harry Shearer isn't leaving the cast of ‘The Simpsons’ after all.
After the contract dispute in May with the production crew it was rumored that Shearer had walked away from the show. Apparently, he had made it clear that he was leaving the 26 years old show with this announcement in his Twitter handle and the show seems to have lost a considerable number of loyal fans since then. However, it now seems that the fans of ‘The Simpsons’ can breathe a sigh of relief as they won’t be missing the voice of their adored Mr. Burns and many other beloved characters after all.
According to EW, Shearer has signed the same contract as the show's other principals: Dan Castellaneta, Yeardley Smith, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright and Hank Azaria. The site reported that the deal pays each cast member more than $300,000 per episode.
After Shearer’s tweet in May, the showrunner Al Jean told the New York Times that Shearer “was offered the same deal the rest of the cast accepted, and passed”, with the voice actor indicating that the impasse was related to his freedom to do other work and was not related to pay. Reportedly, Shearer had told that he was leaving the show ‘because of inflexible schedules’.
However, to this Jean twitted that it was “confusing” that Shearer implied he left to do other projects, “which we always let him do”.
“Everybody on the show does lots of outside projects. He actually gets to record on the phone and do the [table] reads on the phone. So we’ve never kept him from doing that stuff,” Jean told Entertainment Weekly in May.
At a point of time, it was almost sure that Mr. Burns and many other interesting characters might get burned when Jean declared ‘Harry Shearer was offered the same deal the rest of the cast accepted, and passed. 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 voice talent available.’
However much contradictions might have been there, the door was always left open for the 72 year old to return home. Shearer’s voice is irreplaceable in the show as he has voiced dozens of Springfield citizens the Simpson family interacted with nearly every episode, from Reverend Lovejoy and newscaster Kent Brockman to Lenny and Dr. Hibbert to fan favorite Simpsons visitors like the alien Kang and action star Rainier "McBain" Wolfcastle.
Whatever may have been the situation, it is reported that the ‘Simpsons have come home as a family’. Allegedly the productions crew are ‘relieved as all the major characters have been secured by a two seasons contract.