Voice actor John DiMaggio has been the voice of one of the most beloved drunk robots in adult animated television history. He’s returned many times to voice Bender on the countless returns of Futurama, from every cancellation to reboot. Fans questioned his return to the Futurama revival on Hulu as many of the original cast, including Billy West(Fry) and Katey Sagal(Leela), announced they’d return to reprise their roles. John DiMaggio has made it clear he wasn’t returning as he felt the cast wasn’t being paid enough. After battling back and forth, Hulu and John DiMaggio both announced on March 1st that he would return as the iconic voice of Bender for the new upcoming Futurama revival.
I’M BACK, BABY!
— John DiMaggio (@TheJohnDiMaggio) March 1, 2022
John DiMaggio Speaks Out
In February of this year, the Futurama actor posted on Twitter his reasons for not returning to the Futurama Hulu Revival, stating he believed he and his costars all deserved higher pay.
— John DiMaggio (@TheJohnDiMaggio) February 16, 2022
#Bendergate (as John DiMaggio penned it) ended by March as he chose to close the deal and return for Hulu’s new Futurama season. John DiMaggio is currently signed on for the entire 20-episode new season of the Futurama reboot.
According to John DiMaggio, he did not return to the Futurama revival because he obtained the pay raise, as many fans believed.
After appearing at Phoenix Fan Fusion, John DiMaggio spoke up:
“People are like, ‘I’m so glad you got more money!’ I didn’t get more money,… But what I did get was a lot of respect, and a lot of head nods from people who are like, ‘Yo bro, I see you and thank you.’”
According to an LA Times article from March 4th, 2022,
“NBCUniversal’s parent Comcast still owns 33% of Hulu, while Disney holds the rest and has operating control of the service. Hulu is part of Disney’s growing streaming business, which also includes Disney+ and ESPN+.”
This is why it’s so hard for the cast and John DiMaggio to get pay raises for the Hulu Futurama Revival because Disney is their parent company. John DiMaggio himself said,
“Trying to get money out of Disney is like trying to get blood from a stone — you ain’t gonna get it!”
So no, John didn’t return for the pay raise, but he has spoken up about it being “quite rewarding” to be praised by colleagues for speaking out about unfair pay.
DiMaggio Ends #Bendergate
At the end of the day, John DiMaggio chose to stop the fight and end #Bendergate, the battle between him and the streamer. Even though he’d rather the better pay, he decided he would rather be a part of it than not be there at all.
“But listen, this was the best thing about that fight: I had Disney, Hulu, I was holding on to their collective testicles so hard that they couldn’t, y’know, there was nowhere for them to go. But there was also nowhere for me to go, and who wants to hold on to those for that long?”
A little extra fact for the reader. Did you know “Bender” isn’t the only role John DiMaggio has voice acted for? He’s voiced countless animated Disney characters. His filmography shows him voicing a long list of characters from Disney shows and movies such as Kim Possible, Bolt, Wreck-it Ralph, Fish Hooks, Phineas and Ferb, Ducktales, and more!
What do you think about this compensation quandary regarding the voice actors of one of the most well-known adult animations? Are you excited about Matt Groening’s legendary animation Futurama getting a revival? Let us know what you think in the comments down below. We love to hear from you here at The Nerd Stash.
Futurama’s new season will return on Hulu with all-new episodes in 2023.