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Alf Clausen sues Fox for firing him from The Simpsons

Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez (Getty Images for ASCAP)

Two years ago, iconic Simpsons composer Alf Clausen—the man behind the jaunty score, not the main theme—was fired. The story at the time, according to producer Richard Sakai, was that the show was looking for a “different kind of music” going forward, even though it was obviously ridiculous to try a “different kind of music” when it’s had the same kind of music for three decades. After that, the producers released a statement that claimed Clausen would still have “an ongoing role in the show,” but that seemed more like damage control than anything else. Now (as reported by Variety), Clausen has filed a lawsuit against Fox, James L. Brooks’ Gracie Films, and the new corporate masters at Disney, saying he was fired from The Simpsons due to “perceived disability and age.”

Clausen, who is 78, was replaced by a music production company called Bleeding Fingers, with him noting in his suit that the new composer is “substantially younger in age,” is “paid less,” and is “not disabled.” (Variety points out that Clausen’s suit doesn’t specify what disability he’s referring to.) The fact that Clausen says his replacements are paid less seems particularly notable, since the prevailing theory when Clausen was fired was that the show was just trying to cut costs.


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