The kerfuffle over Kermit the Frog has taken another bummer of a turn.
Cheryl Henson, daughter of Muppets creator Jim Henson, recently addressed the firing of former Kermit puppeteer Steve Whitmire in a scathing Facebook post, saying that Whitmire performed the beloved character as a “bitter, angry, depressed, victim,” per Deadline. Henson serves as a board member of the Jim Henson Company, which is owned by Disney, alongside her brother, company chairman Brian Henson.
Deadline provided a screenshot of Henson’s post due to her Facebook privacy settings. It reads:
Steve’s version of history is ridiculously self serving. My father never asked him to perform Kermit, my brother Brian did. Steve’s performance of Kermit has strayed far away from my father’s good hearted, compassionate leader of the Muppets. Steve performed Kermit as a bitter, angry, depressed, victim. Worst of all, in the past few years he had not been not funny or fun.
Recasting Kermit is long over due.
Stop with the pity party!
Let’s get back to the true spirit of Jim Henson’s Kermit!
News of Whitmire’s firing after 27 years as the voice of Kermit came as a shock earlier this month.
The termination has become an ugly debate, with Whitmire pointing mainly to creative differences and Disney representatives citing repeated “unacceptable business conduct,” according to The New York Times.
In a blog post, the puppeteer explained that he had “experienced every possible emotion since October 2016,” when he found out the studio wanted to recast the character. He added, “I just want you all to know that I am sorry if I have disappointed any of you at any point throughout our journey, and to let everyone know that I am devastated to have failed in my duty to my hero.”
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter published Tuesday, Brian Henson said that he regretted not recasting Kermit back in 2004, when the Jim Henson Company was sold to Disney.
“I am very glad we have done this now. I think the character is better served to remove this destructive energy around it,” Henson told the publication.
Matt Vogel, a current Muppets performer, is taking over as Kermit.