Disney reportedly fired Kermit actor over 'hostile' behavior

Virginia Carter
July 18, 2017

Whitmire, who voiced Kermit the Frog for 27 years, recently announced in a blog post verified by the publication that he was sacked by Disney after previous reports claimed he left his role. Now, both sides have shared more information about what was happening behind the scenes to The Hollywood Reporter, and it turns out that the two issues were "a union dispute" and a general pattern of behavior from Whitmire that-depending on who you listen to-was either "overly hostile and unproductive" or passionately protective of Kermit's legacy.

"The first issue was that they felt I had been "disrespectful" in being outspoken on character issues with the small group of top creative people during the ABC series", Whitmire told the trade publication. For instance, he took issue with an episode in which Kermit lied to his nephew, Robin, about his big breakup with Miss Piggy, saying that Kermit is "too compassionate" to do anything but sit Robin down and tell him the truth.

Matt Vogel was announced as replacement for Whitmire.

A spokesperson for the Muppets Studio said in a statement: "The Muppets Studio thanks Steve for his tremendous contributions to Kermit the Frog and The Muppets franchise". Disney and The Muppets Studio also consulted the Henson family and reportedly got their full support to let Whitmire go and find a new voice actor to take over Kermit.

"I don't think Kermit would lie to him", Whitmire explained.

The former Kermit the Frog voice actor said that he's still confused why Disney chose to end his 39-year career the way they did.

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Whitmire says he is still baffled by the entire situation.

By the sound of things, the decision to terminate Whitmire from the perspective of Disney was professionally and personally complicated, and Whitmire's opinion on the matter thusly comes weighted down by his own emotional attachment to the character and surrounding property. "The performers are my brothers, my family of choice". "My sadness is over knowing how important it is for the success of the Muppets to have the characters remain consistent and seeing the value of that ignored".

Whitmare said that while he's ready to move on and pursue new projects, he will always cherish his time as Kermit, as well as his lasting friendship with Henson.

"The look he brings into the eyes of anyone of any age who meets him in person", Whitmire said of his love for the character. Whitmire told THR that he was "truly honored to keep Jim's spirit intact" while he played the beloved talking frog.

Other reports by BadHub

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