Alf Clausen was fired from his role as composer for The Simpsons in 2017 after 27 years on the job, and he says he was told the show was "taking the music in a different direction." But the real reason, the 78-year-old says in a lawsuit against Fox, was his age, as well as a "perceived disability" that wasn't further explained in the suit. Following his removal from the show, he says, his replacement "was substantially younger in age, who was not only paid less, but was not disabled."
Per Variety, he was replaced by a music production company co-founded by Russell Emanuel, Hans Zimmer, and Steve Kofsky called Bleeding Fingers Music; Deadline notes that Zimmer is 61, but it says the Simpsons music seems to be handled by Austen Fray, whose age isn't clear. Over the more than 560 Simpsons episodes Clausen scored, conducting a 35-piece orchestra to do so and often reinterpreting Danny Elfman's iconic theme song for the show, he was nominated for 23 Emmys and won two. "Alf Clausen is the man," reads one sample Twitter response to the news. "He first came on my radar doing Moonlighting's score. Great stuff. The work he did on The Simpsons is just so above, so top shelf. Dumb of them to not recognize that." (It's possible the move was about money.)