‘Futurama’s John DiMaggio On Not Returning As Bender For Revival

Actor John DiMaggio has spoken out about his decision not to reprise his signature voice role as foul-mouthed robot Bender and an assortment of other characters in the upcoming revival of cult animated series Futurama for Hulu.

“Bender is part of my soul and nothing about this is supposed to be disrespectful to the fans or my Futurama family,” he wrote in a statement posted on Twitter Tuesday night and labeled Update: #bendergate. “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.”

As Deadline reported last week, DiMaggio had received an offer in line with that for fellow leads Billy West (Fry) and Katey Sagal (Leela) who, after a back-and-forth, agreed to a deal while DiMaggio felt the proposal was not competitive based on the success and name recognition of the original series. He countered, after which the negotiations stalled and the revival was announced without him, with the Bender role being recast.

“Just to be clear, I don’t thunk that only I deserve to be paid more, I think the entire cast does,” DiMaggio wrote. “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.”

Following the announcement of Futurama’s return, DiMaggio retweeted emotional reactions from fans who stood by the actor and called for the show to bring him back.

After thanking everyone “for the love” tonight, DiMaggio gave fans some hope that the stalemate with Futurama studio 20th Television Animation could be resolved.

“Still hoping for the best,” he said.

DiMaggio has been New Orleans filming a recurring role on AMC’s upcoming Interview With a Vampire series.

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