Here’s a helpful reminder to never settle for less than you’re worth and to always stand up and fight for the respect that you deserve from your employers, whether you’re a famous voice actor or… anyone else. This article is absolutely about a famous voice actor, though, specifically John DiMaggio. About a month ago, Hulu announced that it was granting Futurama yet another revival, and while most of the original cast (Billy West, Katey Sagal, Tress MacNeille, Maurice LaMarche, Lauren Tom, Phil LaMarr, and David Herman) had signed on, DiMaggio—who voiced Bender—was suspiciously absent.
As it turned out, DiMaggio and the producers had been unable to work out a deal that he felt was satisfactory, given Bender’s undeniably integral nature to the show, and the producers even indicated that they would be willing to recast the role. In a statement, DiMaggio said that it’s not that he thinks he deserves more money, it’s that “the entire cast does,” and that he’s tired of working in an industry that’s “become far too corporate and takes advantage of artists’ time and talent.”
But now DiMaggio and the Futurama producers have managed to work things out, and the original voice of Bender will indeed be returning for the revived series. That comes from Variety, which included the following statement from DiMaggio:
I’M BACK, BABY! So damn grateful for the love and support of fans and colleagues alike during this whole time (especially my wife, Kate), and I cannot wait to get back to work with my Futurama family. #Bendergate is officially over, so put it on the back of a shelf behind Xmas decorations, or maybe in that kitchen drawer with all of the other crap you put in there like old unusable crazy glue, or maybe even put it in a jar you save farts in. Whatever floats your boat, I don’t care, you get the picture. I’M BACK, BABY! BITE MY SHINY METAL ASS!
Series creator Matt Groening also shared a funny statement of his own, saying that everyone working on the show knew he should be Bender “from the moment John DiMaggio auditioned last century.” The show premiered in 1999 and has been canceled three times!