The cast of The Simpsons finally got around to renegotiating their contracts, thus putting an end to the pay dispute that threatened to tear apart humanity and resulted in at least thirty artists losing their jobs while production was halted. Dan Castellenta (Homer), Julie Kavner (Marge), Nancy Cartwright (Bart), Yeardley Smith (Lisa), Hank Azaria (Maggie), and Harry Shearer (Mr. Burns) will now each get
$500,000 $400,000 per episode, an increase from $360,000, to donate to Scientology. Ironically, this pay increase comes at a time when viewership has dwindled by nearly fifty percent over the past five years. Aye carumba! [telegraph.co.uk]
E! reports Yeardley Smith, voice of Lisa Simpson, has filed for divorce from husband
Ralph Wiggum Daniel Erickson. [E!]
The newly News Corp.-owned Wall Street Journal had Mark I. Pinksy, author of The Gospel According to The Simpsons, review the new Flanders' Book of Faith in a move that's totally synergystic! [Wall Street Journal]
The Parents Television Council, a media watchdog organization that aims to "promote and restore responsibility and decency to the entertainment industry," recently examined the Fox network's hatred of mothers:
In 1987, TV's respectful treatment of mothers began to be replaced by an attitude of mockery and contempt - and unsurprisingly, it was the Fox network that began the trend. Married with Children's Peg Bundy was portrayed as shallow, vapid, incompetent at domestic chores (and everything else) and obsessed with sex. Dressed to resemble a prostitute, the Peg Bundy character also seemed to act and think like one. The constant put-downs directed at Peg by her crude and moronic husband character were echoed by equally intense contempt from her children.
And in the two decades since Married with Children's premiere nothing has changed, except that the mockery, contempt and even hatred shown towards mothers on Fox has become even more vicious and sadistic.
The May 11th episode of The Simpsons focused on the death of Homer's mother, a former radical who abandoned him as a child. The now-deceased mother leaves her daughter-in-law Marge a purse made of hemp, as Bart informs his father that Grandma said "you don't suck...THAT much."
Yet The Simpsons' depiction of motherhood was as nothing compared to that seen on Seth MacFarlane's animated "comedy" Family Guy. In celebration of Mother's Day, Fox chose to rerun an episode in which Baby Stewie murders his own mother - after plotting to torture her...
For shame, Fox. [Parents Television Council]
According to an artist at Film Roman, about 30 Simpsons artists were fired, with more lay-offs on the way, because the voice actors still haven't signed their contracts for the next season (see earlier post). At least the economy's not in a recession or anything. [TAG Blog]
Here are two video mashups featuring Grampa Simpson. Watch them now, you won't be disappointed. [Wonkette]
Last Sunday's episode, Any Given Sundance, was supposedly the least-watched first-run episode in recent history, with only 6.18 million viewers. [Simpsons Channel]
Some nerd created an image of Homer using only CSS (Cascading Style Sheets, a web stylesheet language thingy), and then another nerd animated the process. Or something. I don't know. [Ned Batchelder via del.icio.us]
...in addition to the usual ~20 other episodes that season. Also, Superbad screenwriters Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen will write one. [Empire]