“Kermit the Frog” Fired Due to Unacceptable Business Conduct
Who knew inappropriate business conduct happened on the set of the kid-friendly Muppets Studio until now? The voice of Kermit the Frog, Steve Whitmire, has officially been dismissed from Disney’s Muppets despite his 27-year performing history.
Even though the news just recently came out to the public, Whitmire has known about the dismissal since October. Last week, Whitmire wrote a sentimental blog post expressing his feelings about being fired over a phone call by a business representative in the Muppet studio. In the blog post he even said he was “devastated” and that his job as Kermit the Frog’s puppet was his “life’s work.” Furthermore, Whitmire didn’t want to tell anyone about being fired because he thought that Disney might change their minds in due time.
Whitemire’s life’s work as the voice of Kermit the Frog began the year of 1978 from the start of the Muppets. The founder, Jim Henson, was still around then and Whitemire was chosen by Henson’s son, Brian.
Though it is not exactly confirmed what Whitmire’s unacceptable business conduct was, we do know that Whitmire was outspoken in the studio by word of his co-workers. Whitemire said to a Hollywood reporter that he just wanted to keep the show “on track.” Nevertheless, Henson’s daughter and son were supportive of the decision by Disney’s muppet studio to fire him.
Hensen’s daughter Lisa, president of the Jim Henson Co., told New York Times that Whitemire “played brinkmanship very aggressively in contract negotiations.”
Clearly, Whitmire caused several issues in the studio for the Muppets, but he was obviously very passionate about his role as Kermit the Frog. It might be his time to go, but he will be missed as the voice of Kermit.
Disney has confirmed that the new voice of Kermit the frog will be Matt Vogel, who has been with the Muppets for many years.