A voice actor who stars in children’s program Thomas the Tank Engine has quit the show over his salary.
Martin T. Sherman has voiced train engines Thomas, Percy and Diesel in the animated show for the past five years, but announced he has quit his position after he failed to find middle ground with bosses at the series’ production company, HIT Entertainment.
In an open letter to fans on his blog on Wednesday , he writes:
“For the last five years it has been my great honor and pleasure to create the American voices of Thomas the Tank Engine and Percy. Unfortunately, I must now quit the show. It is embarrassing but the reason is that they are paying a very low wage. The terms they are offering are so poor, and this with the immense success of Thomas, that the only right thing for me to do is walk away.
“I have felt exploited for a while now. I believe it is important to move on from a situation if you are not valued.”
Sherman tells U.K.’s The Guardian that he was contacted by HIT Entertainment bosses who threatened legal action if the letter was not taken down.
He says, “I feel so bullied. Very bullied, and silenced… I find it ironic that most of the shows that HIT Entertainment puts out are about worlds where good people get rewarded, justice happens, and bad things happen to bad people.”
While a representative for HIT would not comment on Sherman’s contracts, they released a statement to The Hollywood Reporter which reads:
“After a lengthy negotiation period, unfortunately, we could not reach an agreement with Martin T. Sherman and have decided to part ways. We wish him the best in his future professional endeavors.”
It has yet to be revealed who will replace Sherman on the series.
The TV franchise launched in 1984 with former Beatles’ drummer Ringo Starr as the narrator.
Photo Credit: ThomasAndFriends.com/HIT Entertainment