America's worst ambassador, Kermit the Frog, has come under fire for violating German law after he appeared on television hawking the theatrical release of his film The Muppets.
Kermit, or, rather, a lifeless puppet made of felt, manipulated and voiced by human beings, was hired to appear on Germany's ProSieben network to host a "Disney Day" of programming, on which several family films were broadcast.
While on screen, the puppet went rogue, self-animated (via black magic), and began commanding viewers to check out his newly-released musical comedy, darkly alluding to "further consequences," if all did not comply with his orders.
Or, anyway, he mentioned, in his friendly Muppet way, that the movie was out in theatres.
It turns out that, by doing so, Kermit was in violation of the country's advertising policy, which states that any product placement (for example: mentioning the Muppets movie at an unrelated gig) must be clearly identified as such.
The Germans, known for their easy-going nature and lax application of rules, have refused to let this transgression slide.
While the incident occurred in November of last year, the federal body that regulates German airwaves, ZAK, has only just issued a complaint against the ProSieben network, meaning they've been sitting on this great story for months, high-fiving one another and saying, of Kermit, "We got him—we got him so good and he has no idea. He has no idea, bro, and we're gonna nail him."
ProSieben has admitted to the violation.
However, because ZAK cannot directly fine broadcasters for breaking advertising laws, it's unclear whether there will be any consequences as a result of the public shaming, apart from a spate of blog posts about the story.
Another victory for German law.
[The Hollywood Reporter // Image via Getty]