Per Variety, the veteran voice actor broke down his notorious negotiations with the streaming service Hulu, stating that while he ultimately didn’t get the pay raise he felt he deserved, he couldn’t leave his castmates hanging. “I didn’t want, nor did my agent want, me standing outside of a house that I should have been having Thanksgiving dinner in,” DiMaggio said. “It was just like, ‘OK, I gotta say yes, because I don’t want the demise of the show on my shoulders.’ They were ready to bring in other people. It was what it was.”
DiMaggio continued on to say that while he may not have received his raise, he did earn the respect of his colleagues and Futurama’s fans, which he believes is more valuable. “When you’re David with a sling and you’re standing up to Goliath, you try to do what you can to get your side heard. I think I did,” the actor concluded.
DiMaggio and Bender’s Legacy
Ever since Futurama premiered in 1999, DiMaggio has played the fan-favorite character Bender. The foul-mouthed and bad-tempered robot is a staple of the series, arguably becoming DiMaggio’s most recognizable character. Despite this, Hulu managed to rile up the Futurama fanbase when it announced that Bender would be voiced by a new actor in the series’ latest reboot. DiMaggio was positioned as the cause of the change due to a breakdown in negotiations between him and the studio over his pay. He ultimately opted to return, with fans celebrating his decision.
Futurama’s legacy is one filled with highs and lows as Matt Groening‘s cult-classic animated series has been canceled twice only to find new life on a variety of different networks. The sitcom is focused on Phillip J. Fry, a bumbling pizza delivery man from 1999 who accidentally freezes himself and wakes up in the year 3000.
The latest season of Futurama is available to stream on Hulu with new episodes dropping every Monday.