Sunday 22 October 2017

Kermit actor fired for unacceptable conduct, Muppets Studio says

Steve Whitmire took over as Kermit after the death of Muppets' founder Jim Henson in 1990
Steve Whitmire took over as Kermit after the death of Muppets' founder Jim Henson in 1990

The Muppets Studio has blamed "unacceptable business conduct" for its dismissal of Steve Whitmire as the long-time performer of Kermit the Frog.

This explanation on Monday follows Whitmire's emotional blog post last week after his firing was made public.

He said he learned last October that the role of Kermit would be recast.

Whitmire had been with the Muppets since 1978, and took over as Kermit after the untimely death of Muppets' founder Jim Henson in 1990.

The Muppets Studio did not detail the nature of Whitmire's "repeated unacceptable business conduct", but said it spanned "a period of many years", adding that "he consistently failed to address" his employers' feedback.

In an interview Monday with The Hollywood Reporter Whitmire said the studio felt he had been too outspoken in expressing how the Kermit character should be portrayed on the ABC prime-time Muppets mockumentary series that aired in 2015-16.

Whitmire said he had only been trying to help keep the show "on track".

The studio said veteran Muppets performer Matt Vogel is now taking over as Kermit.

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