Is This The End Of Your Favorite Simpsons Characters?

Photo: Courtesy Matt Groening/Fox/20th Century Fox.
Springfield is about to undergo a major shake-up.

After 26 years as a voice actor on The Simpsons, Harry Shearer has announced he is leaving the show, The Hollywood Reporter confirms. A contract dispute is being blamed for the former SNL star's departure. Shearer, who first started working with the show when it was part of The Tracey Ullman Show, tweeted that he was unhappy with limitations on his ability to take on other projects.

"I wanted what we've always had: the freedom to do other work," the This Is Spinal Tap actor tweeted. "Of course, I wish [executive producer James L. Brooks] the very best."  

Shearer has been one of the Fox sitcom's most high-profile voice actors. His most famous characters include religious neighbor Ned Flanders, stern Principal Skinner, and the scheming Mr. Burns and his assistant Smithers.

It's unclear what exactly will happen to those characters. One thing's for sure, though: Things won't be the same without Shearer's voice. 

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