Fox is threatening to shut down production on The Simpsons if the voice actors do not agree to a 45% pay cut, according to Daily Beast.  The show, which will complete its 23rd season next spring, is a cash cow, with syndication bringing in billions of dollars.  The pay cuts would take voice actors Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Hank Azaria, and Harry Shearer down from their current $8 million per season to around half that.  A Fox statement said, “We believe this brilliant series can and should continue, but we cannot produce future seasons under its current financial model.”

The cast reportedly offered to take a 30% cut in exchange for a tiny piece of the back end of the show (they are currently paid union-mandated residuals), an offer that was turned down by Fox.

This is not the first high-stakes negotiation with the voice cast for The Simpsons, and with this much money at stake, we’re betting that the dispute will eventually be resolved.