On July 27, 2007, America’s favorite yellow family will hit the big screen. Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie Simpson will be making their big screen debut in The Simpsons Movie, a feature-length spin-off of the classic television show.
However, in Latin America, the Simpsons may be debuting without the voices that Spanish-speaking fans of the series are used to. Members of the National Association of Actors (ANDA), the union for the actors who have provided the voices for Los Simpson (as the show is known in Latin America) for the past 15 years, are prepared to go on strike after being told that their employer Grabaciones y Doblajes Internacionales (GDI) has said that it is considering replacing the actors for The Simpsons Movie.
The threat of strike comes after GDI has been refusing to sign an exclusive contract with the ANDA actors. ANDA claims that this stance by GDI violates the nation’s labor laws and has filed an appeal with the Mexican Supreme Court.
Humberto Vélez, voice of “Homero” – Homer’s Spanish-speaking counterpart – has stated that he and the other actors who provide the voices of Los Simpson are disappointed at GDI’s position. He said that ANDA’s voice-over actors are “very generous,” charging “only 60 dollars an episode … whereas our counterparts on the English versions make 300,000 dollars per episode.”
Gabriel Chávez, voice of nuclear power plant owner Mr. Burns, stated that ANDA is considering going straight to the owners and creators of the English-speaking program, 20th Century Fox, and asking them to step in to mediate the dispute and to discuss the possibility of switching voice-over companies from GDI to one that would sign an exclusive collective-bargaining contract with ANDA.
Latin American viewers of Los Simpson have expressed solidarity with Vélez, Chávez and the other actors, stating that they do not want to hear new voices on Los Simpson, and that if the ANDA actors are replaced they are prepared to boycott the film. Los Simpson (produced in Mexico City) is seen by over 250 million viewers in 40 Spanish-speaking countries.
Rumors of a Simpsons‘ movie have been circulating since the early days of the show, but was finally confirmed by 20th Century Fox on June 6, 2005. As well as starring the regular voice actors, it has been confirmed that guest star regulars Albert Brooks, Kelsey Grammer (Sideshow Bob), and Joe Mantegna (Fat Tony) will be in the film, as will actress Minnie Driver and activist Erin Brockovich. The movie is directed by David Silverman, who has directed 23 episodes of the television series and written by eleven of the show’s regular writers.