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Frank Oz says he isn't doing Muppets projects anymore because Disney doesn't want him
Frank Oz has long been synonymous with the Muppets and even Sesame Street, having voiced and performed several characters alongside renowned creator and puppeteer himself, Jim Henson.
But don't expect to see him voicing Fozzie Bear, Cookie Monster, or any one of his beloved Muppet characters again, because as the performer-turned-director recently claimed in an interview with The Guardian, Disney apparently doesn't want to work with him.
"I’d love to do the Muppets again but Disney doesn’t want me, and Sesame Street hasn’t asked me for 10 years," says Oz, who hasn't worked on The Muppets since 2007, three years after Disney acquired the IP. "They don’t want me because I won’t follow orders and I won’t do the kind of Muppets they believe in."
He goes on to state that he doesn't watch either the Muppets or even Sesame Street today, citing the lack of heart in characters. "The soul's not there. The soul is what makes things grow and be funny. But I miss them and love them."
During his tenure on both The Muppet Show and Sesame Street, Oz performed and voiced a long line of beloved Muppet characters including Miss Piggy, Grover, Animal, Sam the Eagle, Bert (of Bert and Ernie), among others. However, since then, the only character he has been asked back to perform is Yoda, with Oz vocally reprising his role as the iconic Jedi master in Lucasfilm's latest Star Wars trilogy: The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker.
In recent years Oz has become The Muppets' most vocal critic, having stated his displeasure at how the IP has changed under the control of Disney a few different times — including when the 2011 movie came out.
"There’s an inability for corporate America to understand the value of something they bought," Oz saud. "They never understood, with us, it’s not just about the puppets, it’s about the performers who love each other and have worked together for many years."
SYFY WIRE has reached out to Disney for comment.