When “The Simpsons” premiered, the lead voice actors were paid $5,000 to $30,000 per episode. These deals lasted for 10 years, until the actors threatened to go on strike if they didn’t receive a pay raise or a cut of the merchandising. Fox then threated to fire them and hire new voice actors, but probably realized that was a bad idea.
In 1998, Fox agreed to pay the actors $50,000 per episode along with a guaranteed $10,000 pay raise each year for three years, according to Hollywood Reporter. In 2001 the cast received an even bigger pay raise of $125,000 per episode. In 2004, the cast demanded a raise again, receiving $250,000 to $360,000 an episode.
Then in 2008, the actors demanded another pay raise, which halted production. They received a per-episode fee of $400,000.
And then…their pay decreased.