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The Simpson’s Composer Age Discrimination Claims Get Dismissed While Disability Discrimination Claims Stand


Aug 28, 2020

The long time composer of the music score for Fox hit The Simpsons, Alf Clausen, filed an age discrimination and a disability discrimination claim after being fired from the set in 2017. According to Variety, on Friday, August 21st, the judge dismissed the claims of age discrimination, stating that Clause did not provide enough evidence in support of this claim and citing Fox 21st Century’s rights to freedom of speech, as protected by the first amendment. The claim for disability discrimination, however, still stands. 

Clausen, who was 75 years old after being fired from the set he worked 27 years on, claims that the company fired him in agist biases. According to CBR, Clausen’s defense team states the basis for the disability discrimination claim is that he was only fired one month after it was revealed to the show that he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. 

The Hollywood Reporter states that the show claims that his termination has nothing to do with his age or his disability, but rather his poor performance when it came to producing rap music in November 2016 for the episode titled “The Great Phatsby”, based on the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel, The Great Gatsby.

For this episode, Jim Beanz, a producer on the Fox show, Empire, was brought on as a guest composer. Clausen and Beanz supposedly worked together on the score for the episode, through Clausen states that he did most of the work. Whatever the case, The Simpsons producer, James L. Brooks, was unimpressed by the quality of the music, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Variety reports that the show states that they became concerned with Clausen’s ability to produce good rap music that would help keep the show relevant. The show also states that they became concerned after discovering that Clausen had begun outsourcing some score production to other people, including his own son. 

According to Variety, the show states that after becoming troubled by these two factors, they decided to terminate Clausen. They picked up the compose collective Finger Bleeding Music instead, which they claim has cut their music production costs by 40 percent since they make use of more synth music. 

In opposition to the Anti-SLAPP that cites Fox’s freedom of speech, made public by The Hollywood Reporter, Clausen’s proven track record as a versatile Emmy winning composer fights against the claims that he isn’t talented enough to create good rap music. The disability discrimination claim is still awaiting further motions after this opposition. 

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