You'd think after 23 seasons, Fox and the team behind The Simpsons would've ironed out their pay issues by now... In short, that's not the case. Fox have said either the cast happily take a 45% pay cut of The Simpsons "will die an abrupt death."
Sky News reports: "The ultimatum was delivered after the actors put forward a proposal to take around a 30% pay cut in exchange for a small percentage of the show’s huge back-end profits. The Simpsons is the longest-running sitcom in the history of broadcasting and has made millions for Twentieth Century Fox. Cast members Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Hank Azaria, and Harry Shearer are each thought to earn about $8m (£5.2m) annually for about 22 weeks' work. Under Fox Studio’s proposed downgrade, they would still be making around $4m (£2.6m). The actors argue that they deserve a taste of the plentiful syndication and merchandising profits because they have contributed so much creatively to the success of The Simpsons."
Cue lots of flashback episodes, and Hank Azaria providing all the characters' voices instead of just 70% of them.
Re the proposed 45% pay cut, that would see the cast garner in the region of $4.5million each for six months work. That may sound like a lot, but it's still nowhere near what CBS were throwing at Charlie Sheen for one of the worst sitcoms to ever exist (he was netting approximately $1million per episode).