Studio: Kermit actor fired for 'unacceptable' conduct

Ausiliatrice Cristiano
Luglio 18, 2017

After Disney picked up the rights to The Muppets franchise in 2004 - which resulted in two feature films from 2011 and 2014, as well as the The Muppet Show reboot on ABC from past year - Whitmire stayed on as Kermit, even though his influence was apparently not always welcome. "I feel that I am at the top of my game, and I want all of you who love the Muppets to know that I would never consider abandoning Kermit or any of the others because to do so would be to forsake the assignment entrusted to me by Jim Henson, my friend and mentor, but even more, my hero". "They are a calling - an urgent, undeniable, impossible-to-resist way of life", he wrote on his blog, which is somewhat hard to read thanks to a very green background. Disney and The Muppet Studio, meanwhile, say it wasn't just these one or two things, but problems that "went on for many years".

"We raised concerns about Steve's repeated unacceptable business conduct over a period of many years and he consistently failed to address the feedback", a Muppets Studio spokesperson said in a statement.

In the blog post, Whitmire writes that he received a phone call from The Muppet Studio executives last October telling him that Kermit would be recast, although he does not specify the reasons why.

Whitmire took over the role when Kermit's creator, Jim Henson, died unexpectedly in 1990.

Clearly disgruntled, he wrote: "I have offered multiple remedies to their two stated issues, which had never been mentioned to me prior to that phone call". "But, as I look around at what is presently transpiring it's clear to me that the job is far from done".

A Muppets Studio spokeswoman confirmed to the Associated Press that longtime Muppets performer Matt Vogel will take over the role of Kermit. "We wish him well in his future endeavors".

"I have remained silent the last nine months in hopes that the Disney company might reverse their course", the post adds. "The result became a skill-set for myself that was sort of a compilation of the best of them all".

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