Harry Shearer is leaving The Simpsons and it's a terrible darn-diddly day in Springfield
Fox renewed The Simpsons for another two seasons, but it will do so without Harry Shearer, whom you might know as the voices of Reverend Lovejoy, Charles Montgomery Burns, Seymour Skinner and Ned Flanders among others possibly leaving Springfield, a ghostly shadow of itself.
Shearer was already known for less than amicable relationship with the show. He was often the vocal voice of contract disputes between the studio and staff, arguing for more of a share in back-end merchandising payments of which there is plenty to be had for a show like The Simpsons. Shearer lost the battle with Fox, and has since voluntarily quit, only leaving behind a trio a cryptic tweets quoting the show’s lawyer James. L. Brooks that the “show will go on” and thanking fans for support.
from James L. Brooks' lawyer: "show will go on, Harry will not be part of it, wish him the best.". (1/2)— Harry Shearer (@theharryshearer) May 14, 2015
This because I wanted what we've always had: the freedom to do other work. Of course, I wish him the very best. (2/2)— Harry Shearer (@theharryshearer) May 14, 2015
Thanks, Simpsons fans, for your support.— Harry Shearer (@theharryshearer) May 14, 2015
Showrunner Al Jean confirmed Shearer’s departure with Hitfix. Jean goes further on to say that the show will not kill off characters like Mr. Burns (despite all the terrible things he’s done), but will simply be "recast with the finest voiceover talent available”.
This isn’t the first time that the show has retired characters in the past (Troy McClure, Lionel Hutz and Edna Krabappel), but that has been because the actors (Phil Hartman and Marcia Wallace respectively) who’ve played those characters have passed away. If you need us, we'll be on top of the Kwik-E-Mart howling at the moon, sobbing along to "See My Vest". Who needs Harry Shearer? We Doooo!