When it was announced last week that Hulu had ordered 20 new episodes of Futurama, the voice actor of nihilistic robot and beloved breakout character Bender, John Dimaggio, was not among the list of cast members confirmed to return. Now, Dimaggio has publicly commented on the situation, confirming that the choice not to return as Bender (for now) comes down to pay.
It’s not just his own salary he’s concerned about, Dimaggio said, but those of his Futurama colleagues as well. In a statement published on Twitter last night, Dimaggio cited ongoing negotiations over payment involving himself and the rest of the returning cast as to why he is not currently involved with the new season of Futurama.
“I’ve been thinking about everything that’s been going on these past months and just to be clear, I don’t think that only I deserve to be paid more. I think the entire cast does,” Dimaggio said. “Negotiations are a natural part of working in show business. Everyone has a different strategy & different boundaries.”
Dimaggio elaborated further, saying, “Bender is part of my soul & nothing about this is meant to be disrespectful to the fans or my Futurama family. It’s about self-respect. And honestly, being tired of an industry that’s become far too corporate and takes advantage of artist’s time & talent.
The actor said he is “Still hoping for the best,” but the role of Bender is reportedly being recast at this time.