Harry Shearer Leaving The Simpsons, “The Show Will Go On” With Recasting

Truth rating: 10
Harry Shearer Leaving Simpsons

By Shari Weiss

 Harry Shearer Leaving Simpsons

(Getty Images)

Harry Shearer is leaving “The Simpsons,” but “the show will go on” and still feature his popular characters, including Mr. Burns and Ned Flanders.

Fox renewed “The Simpsons,” the longest-running animated television show, for two more seasons earlier this month. The renewal was granted after the networked inked deals with everyone in the large voice cast EXCEPT Shearer. The actor was said to be a “hold-out,” and now he’s officially just out.

Shearer announced his departure on Twitter early Thursday, explaining, “This [is] because I wanted what we’ve always had: the freedom to do other work. Of course, I wish him the very best.” Hours later, executive producer Al Jean confirmed the exit, tweeting, “The show will go on, made by people who love it and see in it the most wonderful vehicle for satire ever.”

Shearer noted that his decision to quit “wasn’t about money,” something that Jean corroborated to Hitfix, revealing the star was “offered the same deal the rest of the cast accepted and passed.” But there seems to be a disagreement over whether scheduling was to blame. Jean wrote on Twitter, “His statements implied he rejected final offer to do other projects, which we always let him do. It’s confusing.”

Shearer had been with the series since it premiered in 1989, and was responsible for a number of key characters, including Smithers and Otto. Jean has promised, “Burns and Flanders will not die. They are great characters and will continue.” To do so, though, Jean says he will recast, something that is not sitting well with fans. TELL US: What do you think of Shearer leaving “The Simpsons”?

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