A report on CNN Money reports that Harry Shearer will not be returning to the voice cast of The Simpsons for the show’s 27th and 28th seasons, according to longtime Simpsons producer Al Jean. Jean added that, “We do not plan to ‘kill off’ his characters but replace them with the most talented members of the voice over community.” Mr. Jean’s comments came hours after a contract dispute between Mr. Shearer and the producers became public, with the bone of contention over Mr. Shearer’s ability to do outside work in addition to his voiceover work on the show. Mr. Shearer has been with the cast since the show’s inception in 1989, and stated that he has had the freedom to do outside work for decades, but that the producers refused to allow it in this round of contract negotiations. Mr. Jean’s statement declared that Mr. Shearer was “offered the same deal as the rest of the cast, but turned it down.”
Mr. Shearer voices Mr. Burns and his toady Waylon Smithers, as well as Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, and Reverend Lovejoy.