The Simpsons could be about to lose an iconic gay character

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The Simpsons could be about to lose an iconic gay character Waylon Smithers could be set to exit The Simpsons – after the character’s voice actor announced plans to step away from the animated show.

Harry Shearer, who voices a number of iconic characters on the animated show, appeared to confirm on Twitter his plans to leave after 26 seasons on the show.

He tweeted that the lawyer of Simpsons writer James L. Brooks’ lawyer had indicated that while the “show will go on, Harry will not be part of it”, following breakdown of contract negotiations.

In follow-up tweets, Mr Shearer said: “This because I wanted what we’ve always had: the freedom to do other work… Thanks, Simpsons fans, for your support.”

The actor has voiced both Mr Smithers and his boss Mr Burns – with whom Mr Smithers is usually suggested to be in love with.

He also played a raft of other characters, including Principal Skinner, Ned Flanders, Reverend Lovejoy, Kent Brockman, and Doctor Hibbert.

Mr Smithers’ sexuality has long been a source of comedy on the show, and he has made a number of lists as one of the most famous gay TV characters.

However, as the series grew other characters have come out – with Marge’s sister Patty coming out as a lesbian in 2005, and Duffman outed as gay in 2008.

Simpsons co-creator Sam Simon, who passed away in March, notoriously paid £5,000 to rescue a ‘gay’ bull from the slaughter last year.