Kermit the Frog had become ‘bitter, angry, depressed victim,’ says Jim Henson’s daughter


Kermit The Frog is caught in the middle of a nasty feud over the puppeteer voice actor who has controlled his persona for the last 27 years. Cheryl Henson, the daughter of The Muppets and Sesame Street creator Jim Henson, has some tea to spill about why Steve Whittier was sacked from the privilege of pulling Kermit’s strings.

In a Facebook post Cheryl says Steve’s portrayal of Kermit had strayed very far from her father’s characterization, and that the modern Kermit had become a “bitter, angry, depressed victim.”

“Worst of all, in the past few years he had not been . . .funny or fun,” she goes on. Cheryl’s post is in response to a lengthy blog post Steve Whitmire wrote about being fired by Disney after nearly 30 years. In the post Steve says she hopes the company will reconsider their decision and rehire him. “I feel my continued involvement with the characters is in the best interest of the Muppets,” he wrote.


Looking at the clip from Kermit’s ice bucket challenge, Cheryl’s assessment is on the nose. Kermit is very angry in this clip and his attempts at jokes are dripping with bitterness.

It seems like Kermie needs to revisit his Rainbow Connection roots.

Although news that Kermit’s voice actor was changing from Whitmire to Matt Vogel was only recently leaked, Whitmire was fired last October (2016.) Cheryl revealed that her father Jim Henson did not plan on having Whitmire succeed him as the voice of Kermit, but that it was her brother Brian Henson who made the call.

Brian reluctantly spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about the situation, saying that he’s glad Kermit was recast and he feels guilty for not having had Kermit recast sooner.

“I have to say, in hindsight, I feel pretty guilty that I burdened Disney by not having recast Kermit at that point because I knew that it was going to be a real problem,” Henson said. “And I have always offered that if they wanted to recast Kermit, I was all for it, and I would absolutely help. I am very glad we have done this now. I think the character is better served to remove this destructive energy around it.”

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