Voice of Kermit the Frog fired after 27 years

Pierre Vaugeois
Juillet 18, 2017

According to THR, former Kermit the Frog actor Whitmire was reportedly fired from the role that he previously held for 27 years after being "disrespectful" towards his creative collaborators at Disney.

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. The decision to part ways was a hard one which was made in consultation with the Henson family and has their full support". Whitmire was among those at the hospital when Henson passed away.

In addition to Kermit, Whitmire voiced Rizzo the Rat, one-half of grumpy critics Statler and Waldorf, and other Muppets characters.

Whitmire could not immediately be reached for comment, but in an interview Monday with The Hollywood Reporter he 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.

In his first-ever blog post, Whitmire writes that the Muppets job was his "life's work" and that he's "at the top" of his game. The source added it was his alleged persistent unprofessional behavior over the years that led to the firing.

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.

Earlier this month, the Muppets Studio confirmed - but did not explain - that Whitmire is being replaced by Matt Vogel, who previously performed as Kermit imitator Constantine in Muppets Most Wanted. Henson was the original voice actor for the said character.

"The look he brings into the eyes of anyone of any age who meets him in person", he said on his admiration for Kermit. "I can't take credit for that, but have been truly honored to keep Jim's spirit intact".

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