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(Reuters) - The actor who has been the voice of the Chuck E. Cheese family entertainment chain for the past 19 years says he was surprised to learn he had been replaced by a rock-and-roll version of the mouse-like character.
The company, whose food, rides, arcade games and entertainment are targeted at younger children, denied this. It said in a statement that although voice actor Duncan Brannan was not used in a new song involving a revamped character, he remained a part of its marketing.
CEC Entertainment Inc said Brannan was not fired, but "rather, we simply chose to utilize new voice talent for the original music we have written as part of a TV advertising campaign ..."
In a statement reproduced on the Chuck E. Cheese fan site showbizpizza.com, Brannan said he found out last week from a fan about the song, "Chuck's Hot New Single," that was recorded without him. Brannan said he talked to a company contact who told him he had been replaced.
"After serving as the voice of Chuck E. Cheese since 1993 and taking the character through so many stages, changes, and evolutions this comes as a complete surprise to me," Brannan said.
Brannan could not immediately be reached for comment.
Reporting By Andrew Stern; Editing by Eric Walsh