Saturday, April 03, 2004
Simpsons actors demand bigger share - TvRadio - www.theage.com.au
Simpsons actors demand bigger share - TvRadio - www.theage.com.au: "Dan Castellaneta, the actor who provides the voice for the star of hit cartoon series The Simpsons, has joined fellow cast members in a strike over pay rates on the Fox TV series.
The cast, which includes Hank Azaria (Moe, Apu and others), Harry Shearer (Mr Burns and others), Yeardley Smith (Lisa), Julie Kavner (Marge) and Nancy Cartwright (Bart), has failed to appear for two script readings in recent weeks, delaying production of the program's 16th series.
According to the Hollywood trade paper Variety, the dispute centres on a demand by each of the actors that they be paid $US360,000 ($A470,000) an episode instead of their current $US125,000.
The increase would raise each actor's pay to $US8 million a series. The actors work an average of six to seven hours each episode. However, the cartoon is thought to be worth $US1 billion to its owner, Rupert Murdoch's 20th Century Fox.
In 1998, a similar round of negotiations led to the actors securing a pay deal that took them from $US30,000 an episode to their current level. Then, the threat of a strike led the show's producers to hire casting directors in five cities with a view to replacing the actors. But a deal was reached before casting took place."
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