There has been a lot of talks lately regarding Disney's Muppets after one of its actors and puppeteers, Steve Whitmire, who portrayed Kermit the Frog for the last 27 years, was dismissed from his job. The actor said that it was a betrayal while Disney said that the reason behind the firing was because of unacceptable business conduct.

Rolling Stone reported that Whitmire recently had an interview with The New York Times to explain the firing. In the interview, Whitmire claimed that the issue between him and Disney was just minor and could have been fixed. He believed firing him was not the way to settle the matter.

Whitmire on his Muppets work: 'It's just been taken away from me'

Whitmire also pointed out during the interview that being the actor and puppeteer for Kermit the Frog in the Muppets is his life's work and is the only thing he has done his whole adult life. He added that his life's work was "taken away" from him and that he could not understand why they were not able to resolve it.

The Muppets actor said that Disney executives told him they decided to fire him because of the notes Whitmire gave to top creative executives on the 2015 reboot of "The Muppets" in ABC. The other reason was that Whitmire negotiated with an outside company regarding a video shoot with Kermit and the other Muppets.

It is unclear what outside company asked for the video shoot with the Muppets but Whitmire said the Screen Actors Guild did not come to terms with Disney over the money to be paid for the Muppets performers so they advised Whitmire not to green light the project, to which the actor agreed with.

Disney breaks the silence

The head of the Muppets Studio at Disney, Debbie McClellan, said that 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 the said character. McClellan added that the business conduct of Whitmire was unacceptable so they decided to fire him after he failed to address the issues raised.

Disney also said in a statement that Whitmire has been difficult to deal with while in the workplace. Jim Henson's family backed up Disney's claim. Per the daughter of Jim, Lisa Henson, who is the current president of the Jim Henson Company, said that Whitmire was aggressive during contract negotiations and usually opposed the idea of having an understudy for Kermit the Frog.

Brian Henson, the son of Jim and the chairman of the Jim Henson Company, said that Whitmire also sent emails and letters attacking everyone on Muppets such as the writers and the director.

The Hollywood Reporter also said that an insider claimed Whitmire's firing was not just because of a single incident but because of many issues that have tainted his relationship with Disney for the past years.

Long-time puppeteer Matt Vogel will take over Whitmire's place. He will be debuting as the character in a video titled "Muppets Thought of the Week" soon. Despite the dismissal, Whitmire said he hopes that he could still go back as part of the Muppets family. He noted that he would step right back in if offered anything.

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