Hulu recently announced that it’s bringing back Futurama (again). However, fan excitement quickly dwindled when it became clear that Bender’s voice actor, John DiMaggio, was not yet signed on to return to the series despite the rest of the cast coming back. It turned out the actor was holding out for more pay as he thought Disney / Hulu’s initial offer wasn’t as much as it should be. Now John DiMaggio has spoken out a bit more on the subject, saying he’s not just holding out for himself and Bender but for more pay for the entire Futurama cast.
Update: #bendergate pic.twitter.com/tBG7d9hQ3R
— John DiMaggio (@TheJohnDiMaggio) February 16, 2022
“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 tweeted in an image he screen-captured. “Negotiations are a natural part of working in show business. Everyone has a different strategy and different boundaries. Their ‘price.’ Some accept offers, some hold their ground.”
“Bender is part of my soul and nothing about this is meant to be disrespectful to the fans or my Futurama family,” he continued. “It’s about self-respect and, honestly, being tired of an industry that’s become far too corporate and takes advantage of (artists’) time and talent. Look, I wish I could give you every detail so you would understand, but it’s not my place. Thanks again for the love everyone. Still hoping for the best.”
DiMaggio has been getting a lot of support and naysayers since it was said he was holding out on Bender for the Futurama continuation. The idea that DiMaggio wants more pay for the entire Futurama cast seems a bit odd as the rest of the cast has agreed to return and doesn’t seem to be asking him to do this for them, but we don’t know if maybe they all agreed to a lower number than they originally wanted. Whatever the reasoning, the show moving forward with a recast Bender is not a popular option. Voice actors typically aren’t able to push back on pay as recasting is often easy, especially with a robot whose voice could change, but DiMaggio does have some footing with an iconic character like Bender in Futurama.