Disney accuses fired Kermit voice actor of unprofessional conduct

18th Jul 17 | Entertainment News

Bosses at Disney are firing back at former Kermit the Frog voice actor Steve Whitmire after he spoke out against company bosses for firing him.

Disney's

Whitmire, who voiced the beloved character from The Muppets for almost 30 years, was terminated last October (16) and claimed he was let go for attempting to give his input.

Disney bosses dispute his version of events and revealed on Monday (17Jul17) that his battle for creative control caused production delays which ultimately led to his dismissal.

"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," a spokesperson for The Muppets Studio told the Hollywood Reporter in a statement. "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."

During an interview with the publication last week (ends14Jul17), the 57-year-old alleged that he was let go over notes he gave during production of the now cancelled Muppets reboot on U.S. TV network ABC.

"The first issue was that they felt I had been 'disrespectful' in being outspoken on character issues with the small group of top creative people during the ABC series," Whitmire said. "I have been outspoken about what's best for the Muppets since the Muppets came to Disney (in 2004), but the fact is I have respect for everyone who was involved in the creation of that series for their own particular contributions. At the same time, I also have insight into their limitations with respect to how well they know the Muppets."

Sesame Street puppeteer Matt Vogel has since taken over the role. He will make his debut as the character in the Muppets Through the Week video debuting later this week (ends21July17).

© WENN Newsdesk 2017

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