Harry Shearer voiced Ned Flanders, Montgomery Burns, Smithers, Reverend Lovejoy, Lenny, Otto, Kent Brockman, Dr. Julius Hibbert, and many more characters on The Simpsons.
Shearer turned down the offer that was made for the rest of the cast as he wanted to pursue other projects.
from James L. Brooks’ lawyer: “show will go on, Harry will not be part of it, wish him the best." This because I wanted what we’ve always had: the freedom to do other work.
This, as you can imagine, leaves a big hole in The Simpsons cast as they go into their next two seasons that were just ordered by Fox.
However, the show plans on finding new talent to step in for the bunches of iconic characters done by Shearer.
We’ll be curious to see if this is addressed at all in any episodes of The Simpsons.