Kermit Actor Steve Whitmire Was Fired For ‘Unacceptable Business Conduct’ | TV News
We last week learned of the exit of Kermit the Frog actor Steve Whitmire from the Muppet Studios. At first credited as Whitmire quitting the show, news has now arrived that the actor was fired by the studio for ‘unacceptable business conduct’.
Whitmire’s continued 27 year service to Kermit raised suspicions on why the actor would exit the role, so this news shouldn’t be too surprising. The Muppets Studio released the following statement:
“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. The decision to part ways was a difficult one which was made in consultation with the Henson family and has their full support.”
Of course, no information has been released on what “Steve’s repeated unacceptable business conduct” was, but details will likely be leaked in time.
In a blog post last week, Steve Whitmire wrote that he was “devastated to have failed in my duty to my hero”. Whitmire has asserted that he was let go last October because he challenged changes being made to Jim Henson‘s creation that were out of character. Could this perhaps warrant the unacceptable behaviour the studio describes? A source to The Hollywood Reporter suggested that Whitmire came off hostile, and delayed production.
Whatever the reason for Whitmire’s firing, it seems clear the action was building up over years of trouble.
Despite the news, I still hold sympathy for Whitmire, a veteran of puppetry who has gifted children for decades. I don’t know what the future holds for him, but in the meanwhile, luck must be wished for replacement Matt Vogel.