Three of the Wiggles Are Quitting the Band Amid Accusations of Machiavellian Scheming

Looks like The Wiggles have finally given up on your children. The BBC reports that three of the four founding members announced their retirement Thursday.

Murray Cook (red shirt), Greg Page (yellow shirt), and Jeff Fatt (purple shirt, far and away the best dancer) will continue performing through 2012. Starting next year, they will be replaced by current stub-articles Simon Pryce, Lachlan Gillespie, and Emma Watkins (not Emma Watson, a famous children's pole dancer). Watkins will be the group's first female member.

Founding Wiggle Anthony Field (blue shirt; blue eyes that are piercing) will continue to perform with the re-booted group.

While the band members explained their surprise decision by saying the usual things (they've been touring for 21 years, they've forgotten what their families look like, Jeff Fatt is freaking 58 [and has a pace-maker and is STILL the best dancer]), "insiders" are claiming the real story is much juicier than that:

Some suspect The Wiggles might be squirming under the unflinching gaze of an angry public.

Here's how the tide of public opinion turned against The Wiggles:

In 2006, Greg "Yellow Shirt" Page left the group due to poor health, and a young musician named Sam Moran was brought on to don The Golden Chemise.

Earlier this year, The Wiggles made an unexpected announcement that, having regained his health, Page was once again well enough to Wiggle.

Moran was fired from the group.

This abrupt dismissal sparked outrage in The Wiggles' native Australia, where papers began claiming Moran had been ostracized within the group from the start. Sydney's Daily Telegraph reported the other members referred to him as "the salaried Wiggle" (what a polite pejorative; why not "wannabe Wiggle" or "moron Moran"?), and that Moran's contract locked him in at $200,000 a year, while Page received a $20M payout when he left the band in 2006.

Perhaps the most controversial accusation was that the decision to have Page rejoin the group was kept secret from Moran until the day it was publicly announced. This also happened to be Moran's daughter's second birthday.

The Wiggles' manager Paul Field—brother of Anthony "Blue Shirt" Field—denied the claims to The Sydney Morning Herald.

"There's no Machiavellian schemes here. We're a very boring bunch of guys ... It sounds salacious in some ways but it's quite the opposite. It's very commonsense."

Moran was reportedly not asked to rejoin the band as part of the new line-up. He is currently negotiating a deal to do his own kids show so suck it, Wiggles.

In any case, your children might even not notice the band members have changed, since these new charlatans will be wearing the same colored shirts as the original Wiggles (NEVER 4GET).

If your kids do notice, think of something bad they did earlier in the day and blame the Wiggles' departure on that.

Here is a song to help you remember the good times. It is about a hot potato.

[BBC // Daily Telegraph // Adelaide Now // Image via AP]