The Simpsons Composer Drops Wrongful Firing Lawsuit Against Fox

Almost three years after accusing Fox of age and disability discrimination in court, longtime The Simpsons composer Alf Clausen has dropped his wrongful termination lawsuit (via Variety). Clausen, who had worked on the show for 27 at the time of his firing, had originally filed the lawsuit in August 2019, alleging in the lawsuit that Fox and Gracie Films had fired him due to both his age and his Parkinson's diagnosis. A judge dismissed part of the lawsuit in August 2020 on the grounds that Clausen hadn't shown enough evidence of age discrimination. The disability discrimination claim was allowed to proceed.

Fox appealed that decision and argued in December 2021 that the full lawsuit should have been dismissed. Clausen's attorney Ebby Bakhtiar told Variety that Clausen has decided to dismiss the suit rather than wait for a ruling as it appeared the court would rule in Fox's favor, something that would lead to Clausen potentially having to pay Fox's legal fees. 

"We caught a very, very conservative panel," Bakhtiar said. "I think he got screwed."

Clausen began his work on The Simpsons in the series' second season and went on to provide the score for almost 600 of its episodes, winning two Primetime Emmy awards along the way. His final season was Season 28 in 2017.  He was replaced by Academy Award winner Hans Zimmer.  While Clausen claims that he was fired due to age and disability discrimination, Fox argues that he was let go due to creative reasons. There were also concerns that Clausen was utilizing other composers, including his own son, to complete work without permission.

"In my view, it is important for the show to reference and use the musical genres that are popular at the time or that evoke relevant cultural references, because the show entertains not only by telling a story but also by making these cultural references — and musical references are incredibly important for that," Matt Selman, one of the showrunners, said in a declaration. "At some point, it became clear to me that Clausen was not adept at composing all the myriad forms of music desired for the show."

What do you think about Clausen dropping his lawsuit against Fox and Gracie Films? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section.