Kermit actor was fired for 'unacceptable business conduct'

Ben Arnold
·Contributor
Unacceptable... Muppet Studio has said that they fired Steve Whitmire over 'repeated unacceptable business conduct' - Credit: Getty
Unacceptable… Muppet Studio has said that they fired Steve Whitmire over ‘repeated unacceptable business conduct’ – Credit: Getty

Steve Whitmire, the puppeteer who voiced Kermit the Frog, was fired over ‘repeated unacceptable business conduct’, according to Variety.

Whitmire was Kermit for 27 years, both on the Muppet Show and in recent movies ‘The Muppets’ and ‘Muppets Most Wanted’.

But last week it emerged that he’d been fired.

A spokesperson for the Muppet Studio said: “The role of Kermit the Frog is an iconic one that is beloved by fans and we take our responsibility to protect the integrity of that character very seriously.

“We raised concerns about Steve’s repeated unacceptable business conduct over a period of many years and he consistently failed to address the feedback.

(Credit: AP)
(Credit: AP)

“The decision to part ways was a difficult one which was made in consultation with the Henson family and has their full support.”

What the ‘conduct’ in question amounts to is not specified.

Whitmire unleashed a lengthy blogpost after the news emerged last week, stating that it was not a mutual decision.

“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,” he wrote.

“As I am sure you can imagine, I have experienced every possible emotion since October 2016, when I received a phone call from The Muppets Studio’s executives to say they were recasting.

“Through a new business representative, I have offered multiple remedies to their two stated issues which had never been mentioned to me prior to that phone call. I wish that we could have sat down, looked each other in the eye, and discussed what was on their minds before they took such a drastic action.

“Given the opportunity I remain willing to do whatever is required to remedy their concerns because I feel my continued involvement with the characters is in the best interest of the Muppets.”

He’s being replaced by Matt Vogel, who played Kermit doppelgänger Constantine in ‘Muppets Most Wanted’, and the likes of Ernie, The Count and Big Bird on ‘Sesame Street’.

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