It's an end of an era for The Simpsons. Voice actor Harry Shearer, one of the pillars of the show's cast, says he won't be returning for the show's next season.

Some have wondered if the show would go on without Shearer's iconic voice, who has brought characters like Ned Flanders, Mr. Burns and many more to life since the series began in 1989. Showrunner and executive producer Al Jean says the show will continue, and not only that, but characters like Flanders and Burns will be recast, rather than retired.

ean explains in a statement what caused Shearer to part ways with the show:

"Harry Shearer was offered the same deal the rest of the cast accepted, and passed," Jean says. "The show will go on and we wish him well. Maggie took it hard. We do not plan to kill off characters like Burns and Flanders but will recast with the finest voiceover talent available."

He also took to Twitter to calm worried fans:

Simpsons co-creator James Brooks also took to social media to open up about the situation, suggesting he is willing to negotiate with Shearer and attempt to work out their differences.

Shearer announced his departure from the show yesterday via social media after he received a letter from the lawyer of James Brooks, which read the show would go on without Shearer.

In a message to CNN, Shearer said "In last four years, I've created and starred in a UK TV series and starred on London stage. Not stopping."

According to CNN, Shearer is turning down a $14 million, two-year contract, one that allowed for the actor to do other projects if he so desired.

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