The Simpsons‘ longtime composer Alf Clausen is suing the show, saying his dismissal was based on ageism and disability.
Clausen composed the orchestral incidental music and many songs for the show in over 560 episodes, before he was dismissed in 2017.
The cartoon’s bosses at Fox stated that they wanted to take The Simpsons‘ music “in a different direction” when Clausen was let go.
But, in a lawsuit, Clausen disputed Fox’s claims. According to a report by Variety, the lawsuit states: “(The ‘different direction’ claim) is pantextual and false. Instead, Plaintiff’s unlawful termination was due to perceived disability and age.” As well as Fox, Clausen is suing Disney and producer James L Brooks’ company Gracie Films.
Clausen was nominated for 23 Emmys for his work on The Simpsons. He won twice, for the songs ‘We Put The Spring In Springfield’ and ‘You’re Checkin’ In (A Musical Tribute To The Betty Ford Center)’. Other songs Clausen composed for the show included ‘We Do (The Stonecutters’ Song)’, the spoof Planet Of The Apes musical and Poochie’s rap.
In 2017, when it was first reported Clausen was leaving, a statement was issued about the composer. It stated: “Alf Clausen will continue to have an ongoing role in the show. We remain committed to the finest in music for The Simpsons, absolutely including orchestral music. This is the part where we would make a joke, but neither Alf’s work nor the music of The Simpsons is treated as anything but seriously by us.”
The show’s bosses haven’t responded to Clausen’s lawsuit.
Clausen was 76 when he was dismissed. The lawsuit does not specify what his disability is. His lawsuit also states his replacement is being paid less. It had been reported that
Since Clausen was let go, The Simpsons‘ music has been made by Bleeding Fingers. This is a company set up by Oscar-winning composer Hans Zimmer, his business partner Steve Kofsky and music publishers Sony/ATV’s production firm Extreme Music.
The Simpsons’ new series, its 31st, is due to begin in September.