After 27 years of composing music for The Simpsons – and over 560 episodes scored – you’d think Alf Clausen would be receiving an award. Oh wait, he has. Multiple Emmy’s from 1997 and 1998 for Outstanding Music and Lyrics for his work on the hit animated comedy belong to Clausen, as well as over 30 nominations, making him the most nominated composer in Emmy history. He’s won five Annie Awards for his work on The Simpsons, and his consistently good composition has bred incredible respect for him within the TV industry.
And today, Fox fired him.
In an interview with Variety, Clausen revealed that he got a call from Richard Sakai, one of the producers on The Simpsons, informing him that they were seeking “a different kind of music” and that his days of scoring were over for the longtime animated hit.
Now, what exactly does “a different kind of music” mean? Does Fox want music that is, for instance, less charming? Are they looking for a more gritty take on The Simpsons? Have they hired Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross instead?
There’s nothing concrete to go on here, as Fox hasn’t released an official statment, but the prime suspect is money. Clausen used a 35-piece orchestra to score The Simpsons, and it’s plausible that Fox saw fit to gut the budget by axing Clausen, and his notions of authenticity and integrity in his music. While The Simpsons still draws in more money than any of Fox’s other animated shows, that doesn’t seem to be stopping them from making their profit margin as big as possible.
Still, you’d think they’d have more respect for someone as integral as Clausen.[via Variety]