According to the Hollywood newspaper, six of the actors have refused two show up for script readings in the past fortnight, halting production on the upcoming sixteenth season of the show.
Each is said to be asking for around $360,000 per episode, the equivalent of $8 million for each 22-episode season. At present they earn around $125,000 each per episode.
The contracts for those concerned - Dan Castellaneta (Homer), Hank Azaria (Moe, Apu, Comic Book Guy), Harry Shearer (Mr. Burns and others), Yeardley Smith (Lisa), Julie Kavner (Marge) and Nancy Cartwright (Bart) - expired several months ago and thusfar representatives have failed to agree new ones.
The cast were previously in a pay dispute in 1998, when each earned around $30,000 an episode. Producers were quick to set up casting directors in five cities to replace most of them before both sides worked out a new deal.