Steve Whitmire attends The Muppets panel at Comic-Con International in 2015 in San Diego, Calif. Tonya Wise/Tonya Wise/Invision/AP hide caption
toggle caption Tonya Wise/Tonya Wise/Invision/AP
Nine months after being fired as the longtime voice of Kermit the Frog, Steve Whitmire is speaking out. He was let go in October by Disney for what was described as “unacceptable business conduct.”
Whitmire says Disney’s dismissal was “a betrayal” after a 27-year career devoted to carrying on the legacy of Jim Henson, the founder of the Muppets. Henson was the original voice of Kermit.
A spokesperson for The Muppets Studio told news organizations: “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.
In a 45-minute telephone interview, Whitmire spoke to The New York Times:
“This is my life’s work,” said Mr. Whitmire, 58, who lives in the Atlanta area. “The only thing I’ve done my whole adult life, and it’s just been taken away from me. I just couldn’t understand why we couldn’t resolve this.”
“Disney, which acquired the Muppets in