The acclaimed animated series Futurama returns to the small screen on Monday with its revival on Hulu, and just before the show’s eleventh season arrives, John DiMaggio addressed how he almost missed out due to stalled negotiations.
Last year, Hulu announced that Futurama was returning to the streaming service, but fans were quick to notice that DiMaggio’s name was not on the list of returning cast members. Since he voiced the fan-favorite character Bender, this proved to be a major problem, as many fans made it clear that recasting would not be accepted. In the end, DiMaggio took on the project, and in a recent interview with Variety, he reflected on the whole ordeal and why he accepted.
“When they announced, it wasn’t like I said no. We were discussing for a long time. It was a stalemate,” DiMaggio explained. At the time, the actor tweeted how his stalled negotiations for better pay were “about self-esteem,” arguing that he was “tired of an industry that has become too corporate and time for artists. And taking advantage of talent.” Those words may seem even more true now, as many have gone on strike with STRAG since America’s SAG went on strike with SAG. .
John DiMaggio didn’t want to be on the outside looking in
Fans understood DiMaggio’s position and pressured Hulu on social media to give the actor what he wanted. DiMaggio would soon announce that he was returning to the show, though he also revealed that he didn’t get the raise he wanted. In his recent chat with Variety, the actor said he didn’t want to miss the reunion, or be the reason the revival fell apart. “I didn’t want, nor did my agent, I wanted to be standing outside a house where I was supposed to have Thanksgiving dinner. It was just like, OK, I have to say yes, because I don’t want the death of the show on my shoulders,” DiMaggio said. They were ready to bring in other people. It was what it was.”
Still, DiMaggio is proud to stand up for himself, even if he doesn’t get what he wants. The actor admitted that he basically “stood up to David with a slingshot… to Goliath” and was doing what he could to get his side heard, adding, “I think I did.” This is probably how the strike would play out a year later. DiMaggio said, “It’s kind of interesting that the strike is happening, because it’s all the things that I wanted and fought for — not just me, but everybody else. Now it’s not just me versus them. Now everybody’s against them.”