“If I’d spent my life listening to Dismal Doras like you, I wouldn’t be worth two-hundred-million dollars today.” – C.M. Burns
“But according to your most recent biography, you only have one-hundred-million dollars today.” – Lisa Simpson
“I’ve ha-, . . . I’ve . . . ” – C.M. Burns
“Um, actually, sir, it’s, uh, considerably less than that.” – Mr. Smithers
A nice, headline grabbing number, preferably with a dollar sign next to it, is a well known pageview booster. So let this be my usual renewal related reminder that there is no creditable public information on what the current or past salaries of the Simpsons voice actors are/were. Back before the 2011 renewal, the widely cited figure was $400,000 per episode. After that it came down somewhat to $300,000 (though I saw it mentioned as low as $200,000). Now, thanks to the feckless morons at CNN Money (a backwater in an already grossly negligent and irresponsible news outfit), the current deal is being touted at $7,000,000 per year, or $318,182 per episode:
What is their source for that eye catching number? You’ll be shocked (shocked, I tell you!) to learn it’s an anonymous source:
The actor was offered a guaranteed $14 million for two years of work, according to someone with direct knowledge of the matter.
Okay, sometimes people don’t want to go on record, and that’s okay. That factual information reaches the public is supposed to be the important part, right? Well, here’s the kicker:
“To me, the deal he rejected would be the dream of a lifetime for the rest of the world,” the source said.
That’s not information. That’s spin. Moreover, it almost certainly marks this source as someone at FOX since s/he’s painting Shearer as walking away from “the dream of a lifetime for the rest of the world”, that ungrateful bastard.
Shearer himself has said in the past that the reported salary numbers are inaccurate, and I’m far more inclined to believe him than some nameless insider who feeds bullshit like that to CNN Money. Remember, Shearer and the rest of the cast are forbidden from discussing what they’re actually paid, so FOX and their anonymous flacks have a free hand to inflate the numbers and paint the cast as greedy jackasses, and CNN Money is only too happy to help them do it.
Shoddy information coming from CNN is nothing new, of course. The real problem is that people repeat these numbers so many times that they seem credible even when transparent horseshit like the above link is the only basis for it. It’s happening already:
So, pretty please, with sugar on top, remember that you don’t know how much money the Simpsons voice actors make. I don’t know how much the Simpsons voice actors make. And the business/entertainment press for damn sure doesn’t know how much the Simpsons voice actors make.