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Goodbye, Mr. Burns? Harry Shearer is leaving The Simpsons

The Simpsons is rolling on for at least two more seasons, but Harry Shearer — the voice of Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, and Principal Skinner, among others — won't be part of the cast. On Wednesday night, Shearer broke the news on Twitter, quoting a letter from the lawyer of executive producer James Brooks saying the "show will go on, Harry will not be part of it," and giving his own explanation: "I wanted what we've always had: the freedom to do other work." He added:

The departure is due to a contractual dispute, Variety reports, and all the other voice actors — Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Hank Azaria, and Yeardley Smith — have already started working on season 27. Shearer has been on The Simpsons for its entire 26 season run. Barring an unlikely contract reversal, he will be sorely missed.