Alf Clausen, the Emmy-winning former composer for Fox’s animated mainstay “The Simpsons,” initiated legal action against 20th Century Fox, The Walt Disney Co. and the show’s producers Monday, claiming he was fired due to his age and an unspecified disability.
In a lawsuit submitted to Los Angeles Superior Court on Monday but not yet formally filed, the 78-year-old Clausen contends he was illegally fired on Aug. 16, 2017, “due to perceived disability and age.”
There was no immediate response to a request for comment from show producers.
According to the court document, Clausen suffered from a physical disability during his years working on the program. The suit does not specify the nature of the disability, but says Clausen “required reasonable accommodations for his disability,” and such accommodation “would not have ever created any type of hardship” for the show’s producers.
Clausen alleges that on Aug. 16, 2017, producers “unlawfully terminated his lengthy employment, advising that the television show `The Simpsons’ was taking the music in a different direction and that plaintiff would not be returning to his role as a composer. This reasoning was pretextual and false. Instead, plaintiff’s unlawful termination was due to perceived disability and age.”
The suit claims that Clausen was “replaced by someone substantially younger in age, who was not only paid less, but was not disabled.”
The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages. It alleges disability discrimination, age discrimination, wrongful discharge and retaliation, among other causes of action.
Clausen was nominated for more than 20 Emmy Awards during his time with the show, winning twice for co-writing the songs “We Put the Spring in Springfield” and “You’re Checkin’ In (A Musical Tribute to the Betty Ford Center).”
He previously worked on shows including “ALF” and “Moonlighting.”