THE SIMPSONS Loses the Voice Actor Behind Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders and More

     May 14, 2015


The Simpsons scored two more seasons from Fox last week with Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith and Hank Azaria all signing deals to continue voicing their characters , but it looks like one key cast member isn’t returning, Harry Shearer, the voice of Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Smithers, Seymour Skinner, Otto and more. Here are the tweets Shearer shared quoting a letter he received from executive producer James L. Brooks’ lawyer:

Shortly after retweeting Shearer’s tweets, showrunner Al Jean posted the following:

He also told HitFix this:

“Harry Shearer was offered the same deal the rest of the cast accepted and passed. We wish him well but the show will go on. Maggie took it hard.”

According to HitFix’s source, in addition to getting the same offer as his co-cast, Shearer was also given the option to do all of his work by phone “from anywhere in the world.” But even then, he opted out. What’s the fate of his characters? Here’s what Jean told the outlet:

“Yes, Burns and Flanders will not die. They are great characters and will continue.”

Obviously that means they’ll have to recast the roles and while I’m sure they’ll find actor(s) who can get pretty close to the voices Shearer created, it won’t be the same and, odds are, after 26 seasons, viewers will notice.

What do you think? Can Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, etc. continue on with a different voice actor?


Image via FOX