Spanish ‘Simpsons’ in Labor Dispute

Spanish ‘Simpsons’ in Labor Dispute (CNN – AP)

Photo: Marge Simpson is near tears, and the normally menacing Mr. Burns is full of warmth and gratitude. The union actors who dub “The Simpsons” into Spanish are asking their Mexican audience for help as they fight for their livelihoods in a labor dispute that could silence the original Spanish voices from the 15-year-old animated comedy. “Marge is very sad,” said Nancy Mackenzie, the voice of the Simpsons matriarch. “I don’t believe they’ll replace us. Something deep inside says no.”

The disagreement between the actors union and a Mexican contracting company is in the hands of government labor arbitrators at a time when the actors say they normally would be sitting down to tape the upcoming season of “The Simpsons.” If an agreement isn’t reached, the actors fear the company will hire new voices, changing the cartoon’s Spanish alter egos — voices known throughout Latin America.

This is apparently more important than it would at first appear, as I just received this as a CNN Breaking News Alert. Ironically, the American cast of the show had a similar situation recently.

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James Joyner
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James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.