Bender voice actor John DiMaggio joins Futurama revival, ending #Bendergate standoff
John DiMaggio will be going back to the future after all.
The voice actor, who played Bender throughout Futurama's original run, is returning for Hulu's upcoming revival, EW has confirmed, ending a standoff with the studio over a salary dispute (which DiMaggio dubbed "#Bendergate" on social media). DiMaggio has now joined most of the show's original cast in signing up for the revival, including Billy West, Katey Sagal, Tress MacNeille, and Maurice LaMarche. Series creators Matt Groening and David X. Cohen are also on board.
"I'M BACK, BABY! So damn grateful for the love and support of fans and colleagues alike during this whole time (especially my wife, Kate), and I cannot wait to get back to work with my Futurama family," DiMaggio said in a statement. "#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!"
EW reported earlier that while West and Sagal accepted Hulu's salary offers, DiMaggio felt his was too low and countered, resulting in a stalemate with neither side appearing to budge. The voice actor later said, in a statement posted to Twitter, that he felt the whole cast "deserve[d] to be paid more." Now it seems those negotiations have been resolved.
"From the moment John DiMaggio auditioned last century, we knew we had our Bender," Groening said in a statement. "So congrats to everyone at Futurama. We're all back, baby!"
Cohen added, "John DiMaggio may be a great robot, but he's also a great human being. Not many people or machines can say that. For the fourth time, it's a once-in-a-lifetime thrill to be back with our entire original cast and the phenomenal animators of Rough Draft Studios!"
Hulu announced that it had ordered a Futurama revival last month, nine years after the final season aired on Comedy Central and 19 years after Fox originally canceled the show. Produced by 20th Television Animation, the revival is currently slated to premiere in 2023.
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