Muppet Studios Releases Statement

KERMIT THE FROG

Jarrod Fairclough – Well, this keeps on getting stranger each day.  After Steve Whitmire began posting stories on his new website about being dismissed from his role as Kermit, The Muppets Studio has 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.”  –Spokesperson for The Muppets Studio

There’s still some information that’s unknown, but it looks like the issues have been going on for a while.  We’ll bring you more as the story continues.


Update: Lisa and Brian Henson have spoken in an interview with The New York Times, which you can read below.

“He played brinkmanship very aggressively in contract negotiations,” said Lisa Henson, president of the Jim Henson Company, and Jim Henson’s daughter.
Ms. Henson said Mr. Whitmire was adamantly opposed to having an understudy for his role, which presented problems when it came to what she called “B-level performances, such as a ribbon-cutting.” She said he was unwilling to appear on some of these occasions but also refused to develop an understudy and that he “blackballed young performers” by refusing to appear on the show with them.
Brian Henson, the company’s chairman and Jim Henson’s son, said that while Mr. Whitmire’s Kermit was “sometimes excellent, and always pretty good,” things changed when he was off set. “He’d send emails and letters attacking everyone, attacking the writing and attacking the director,” he said.”
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