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'The Simpsons' Here's How to Fix Apu Problems ... Says Hari Kondabolu

12/4/2017 2:03 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Hank Azaria's stereotypical Indian voice as 'Simpsons' character Apu isn't the show's biggest problem -- it's getting Apu some power ... according to the comedian who's challenging producers to make changes. 

Hari Kondabolu's documentary, "The Problem with Apu" prompted Hank to tell us he's sorry if he offended anyone with his portrayal of Apu. He also hinted there's a chance Apu doesn't come back -- but Hari says there's a better solution.

'Simpsons' producers, listen up -- we think Hari just made your jobs a little easier.

He might need a writing credit though, if you use this idea. Doh!!

Hank Azaria 'Simpsons' Brass Talking ... What Do We Do About Apu?

12/3/2017 12:50 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Hank Azaria is breaking huge 'Simpsons' news -- Apu, one of the characters he voices, could be going away on the heels of a documentary accusing the hit show of racism.

We got Azaria at LAX and asked him about "The Problem with Apu." Up until now Hank hasn't reacted, but he told us he and producers are taking the criticism seriously.

If you haven't seen it, comedian Hari Kondabolu takes a hard look at Apu -- the Indian owner of the Kwik-E-Mart -- and says the character exploits stereotypes of Indian immigrants. Hank offered a heartfelt apology to anyone who's been offended.

So, will Apu vanish from Springfield? Based on what Hank told us ... seems like a possibility to us. Watch and get your own read.

'The Simpsons' Spoofs Trump's First 100 Days ... Kill Spicer, Put Ivanka On SCOTUS

4/27/2017 7:49 AM PDT

"The Simpsons" envision Ivanka Trump as a Supreme Court Justice, and Sean Spicer killing himself ... at least in the show's version of Donald Trump's first 100 days in office.

The spoof airs on Sunday's episode, and even the staunchest Trump haters would have to say it's super dark -- Spicer hanging himself in the White House Press Room, Ruth Bader Ginsburg getting 86'd for Ivanka, while hawking robes and the prez himself weeping over ... well, you gotta watch.

Of course, Trump's made no secret of his love for FOX News. Gotta wonder if he'll be watching the mother ship Sunday night.

Bart Simpson Nancy Cartwright Shocks Student with 'Impression'

3/26/2017 12:50 AM PDT

Nancy Cartwright is awesome ... slowly and slyly revealing to a kid on a mission he's lookin' at the voice of Bart Simpson.

Nancy was at a shopping mall in Sherman Oaks, CA when she happened upon an 8th grader who was hawking sweets.

You gotta see his reaction when the light bulb goes on.

'Simpsons' Star Don't Blame Us for Trump's Success

3/9/2016 1:51 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Donald Trump may be flying high after picking up 3 more states, but he better hope a certain donut-loving, follicly-challenged guy doesn't enter the race ... according to a 'Simpsons' star.

Harry Shearer -- the voice of Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Smithers, Principal Skinner and many more -- was at LAX when we brought up the now infamous episode that predicted a Trump presidency ... 16 seasons ago!

Shearer explained why it worked, but only as a goof, way back then. As for whether it's still funny -- Harry explained why he'd vote Homer before Trump.

Sam Simon 'Simpsons' Emmys Auction Blocked ... By the Emmys!

1/25/2016 1:17 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

The estate of 'Simpsons' co-creator Sam Simon wants to unload 2 handfuls worth of his Emmys, but the people at the Emmys ain't havin' it ... TMZ has learned.

Simon passed away last year and his foundation listed 10 Emmys -- which he won for "The Simpsons" and "The Tracey Ullman Show" -- through the Abell Auction Company.

They could go for $2,500 - $6,000 each ... however, the Academy of Television says it's the rightful owner of those awards. A rep for the Academy tells us a winner's heirs or successors must "return the statuette to the Academy, and we hold it in storage in memory of the recipient.” Those are the rules.

The Academy broke that news to Simon's estate, and as of Monday morning ... the Emmys have been pulled off the block. 

The auction's still going down February 21 and will include pieces from Sam's art collection, like Picasso lithographs and a mini "Thinker"  -- but your shot at a 'Simpsons' Emmy is officially dead.

Sam Simon 'Simpsons' Treasure Trove Up for Auction

10/20/2015 12:30 AM PDT
Exclusive Details

As co-creator of "The Simpsons," Sam Simon amassed an epic collection of memorabilia ... which you can own, if you got the cash.

Simon's estate teamed up with Sotheby's for "The Creative Genius of Sam Simon: A Lifetime of Memorabilia," to auction off serious 'Simpsons' swag, and stuff from his other sitcoms he wrote and produced.

Sotheby's tells us the most sought after items include one of Simon's drawings of Bart, expected to go for $1,500 ... and an animation cell from an episode, estimated to fetch $2,000.

The crown jewel might be concept drawings of 'Simpsons' characters from the early planning stages of the show. Sotheby's thinks that will pull at least $5k.

Crack your piggy banks ... bidding starts October 22nd. 

Matt Groening Neighborhood War Erupts Over Pine Tree Massacre

9/23/2015 12:40 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Matt Groening is literally living a Joni Mitchell song ... his neighbor paved paradise and put up a parking lot, and he's pissed.

Matt is enraged one of his neighbors is taking an ax to four 100-year-old pine trees, which he says are on protected property.  

The "Simpsons" co-creator says the neighbor wants to pave over the area to accommodate her cars.

The Santa Monica neighborhood is up in arms. Bobby Shriver, the former Santa Monica mayor and member of the Kennedy clan, along with his wife, Malissa, tried to stop the chainsaw massacre by protesting to the City of L.A. Turns out, the trees are on the border between Santa Monica and L.A. and the stumps rest on the L.A. side.

One neighbor, Jerry Rubin, actually chained himself to one of the trees in protest.

Matt and company won a temporary reprieve ... the City of L.A. ordered the tree hackers to stop until they determine conclusively whether she has a right to chop the pines down.   

As they say ... you don't know what you got till it's gone ...

'Simpsons' Creator Matt Groening Sued By Hispanic Nanny Claims Discrimination

6/30/2015 1:50 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

"The Simpsons" creator Matt Groening has been sued by his former nanny, who claims he has it out for Hispanics, even though Matt's wife is Hispanic.

Tania Cardona claims in a new lawsuit, obtained by TMZ, Matt and his wife treated employees "like animals," claiming she was not only worked to the bone, but harassed over her heritage.

Cardona says Matt would say his son was not going to speak "good English" because there were so many Hispanics in the house. The lawsuit says Groening would complain, "his house looked like a Hispanic community and he 'hated' it."

Cardona grouses she and the other Hispanic employees had to eat at a small table next to a trash can in the laundry room.

It's a puzzling lawsuit, because Matt is married to Agustina Maria Picasso Achaval, who is from Argentina.

Cardona claims she was wrongfully terminated and wants millions in damages.

We called Groening for comment. The lawyer said they hadn't seen the lawsuit and therefore had no comment.

'The Simpsons' It's NOT Over Producers and Harry Want to Make it Work

5/14/2015 10:10 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Harry Shearer could come back to "The Simpsons" after all, because we've learned both sides want to make it happen .... but there's still a major hurdle.

Harry said Wednesday night his negotiations with producers had broken down and he would not come back to the show. Producers said they were moving on and finding new people to do Harry's voices.

But James L. Brooks, the exec producer of the show, just tweeted, "Hey, we tried. We're still trying. Harry, no kidding, let's talk."

And we just spoke with sources directly connected with Harry who told us, "It was difficult for him not to come back. He loves all 23 of his characters. If there's a way to work this out and continue to have a career in addition to 'The Simpsons' he would be delighted."

So the door is open, but our sources say Harry and producers are at loggerheads over Harry's ability to do other projects. Our sources say Harry has more restrictive language in his contract than other cast members. They say producers bent a little, allowing him to do other things if they agreed.

We're told Harry and his lawyer, Larry Stein, would not agree to giving producers the right to veto Harry's other projects.

But at least the door is still open.

'The Simpsons' Have a Cow, Bart ... Harry Shearer Is OFF THE SHOW!

5/13/2015 10:19 PM PDT
Breaking News

Every 'Simpsons' fan's worst nightmare just came true -- Harry Shearer ... one of the key voices on the show is leaving after contract talks broke down.

According to Shearer ... co-creator and executive producer James L. Brooks' attorney broke the news that Harry would "not be part of" the show going forward.

TMZ broke the story ... Shearer was the last cast member left to sign on for the 2 year extension FOX recently announced. Our sources said the 71-year-old actor had issues with the back end and merchandising parts of his contract, and refused to sign.

On Twitter Wednesday night, Shearer said the breakdown was because he wanted "freedom to do other work."

It's a major blow to the longest running scripted show on TV. Shearer voiced neighbor Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, Mr. Burns, Smithers, Kent Brockman ... and a ton of minor characters. In all, he's given voice to well over 100 citizens in Springfield.

'Simpsons' Creator Matt Groening Says Everyone's Signed On But We Know Differently

5/10/2015 10:02 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

"Simpsons" creator Matt Groening took issue with our story that there's a major holdout in the cast, but we know it's true, and now we know who.

Groening told our photog Saturday night all the actors have signed on for the next 2 seasons.  Fox has already announced the renewal.

But sources intimately familiar with the production tell us Harry Shearer, who voices multiple characters on the show, has not re-resigned.  As we reported, all members of the cast make the same amount per episode, but we're told Shearer still has issues with back-end and merchandising and Fox does not have his signature.

Shearer's people will neither confirm nor deny our story, but we know it's true.

The Simpsons Renewal Snag Key Actor Holding Out ...

5/8/2015 2:53 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Fox has announced "The Simpsons" -- which has run 26 seasons -- is coming back for another 2, but they may have jumped the gun because we've learned one of the key players has not signed on.

Sources close to the production tell TMZ the holdout has not reached an agreement. The sources would not say which actor is holding out, but we're told it's a key person in the mix.

We're also told the people who have signed on have all agreed to the same amount per episode and that is not an issue with the holdout. The sticking points in the past have had to do with back-end profits and merchandising.

We contacted Fox. The network had no comment.

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