After a scare about not wanting to return due to a much-needed contract restructuring, Hulu capitulated and talks began to pay the voice actors their fair share.
Bender is back baby! Actor John DiMaggio, known for voicing Bender and many beloved voiceover Futurama characters, has officially declared his return to the series for its revival on Hulu on February 9th. This, after weeks-long uncertainty as to whether or not the actor would return.
The only voice actor not to confirm, DiMaggio took issue regarding the actor’s pay for both himself and the entire cast. Feeling it was being taken advantage of and wanted more. The actor had this to say regarding his departure:
“Bender is part of my soul & nothing about this is meant to be disrespectful to the fans or my Futurama family. It’s about self-respect. And honestly, being tired of an industry that’s become far too corporate and takes advantage of an artist’s time and talent.”
Saddened by this, #BenderGate began to trend shortly after, bringing up a much needed to be discussed issue regarding long-term pay for actors in long-running successful TV series. Because Futurama as an intellectual property has now been utilized by different networks for decades, as a Fox, Comedy Central, and Adult Swim TV series. With a planned 20 episode revival in Hulu underway for 2023.
That being said, Hulu has not been shy of late in reviving beloved animated series. They’ve revived Animaniacs for a two-season run not that long ago, and continue to showcase an interest in more young adult and teenage humor-styled animation with both Solar Opposites and Crossing Swords.
As reported by Variety, regarding his return, DiMaggio had this to say to his beloved fans:
“#Bendergate is officially over, so put it on the back of a shelf behind Xmas decorations, or maybe in that kitchen drawer with all of the other crap you put in there like old unusable crazy glue, or maybe even put it in a jar you save farts in. Whatever floats your boat, I don’t care, you get the picture. I’M BACK, BABY! BITE MY SHINY METAL ASS!”