Steve Whitmire Claims He Was Unexpectedly Fired as Kermit Muppeteer

It was reported Tuesday that Steve Whitmire would no longer portray Kermit the Frog, the Muppet’s most well known character, after a 27-year run. It seems Whitmire has come out with his perspective on the termination, and why he is not satisfied with how things played out.

Whitmire’s personal blog (verified by the Hollywood Reporter) posted his reaction to the firing:

“As I am sure you can imagine, I have experienced every possible emotion since October 2016, when I received a phone call from The Muppets Studio’s executives to say they were recasting. Through a new business representative, I have offered multiple remedies to their two stated issues, which had never been mentioned to me prior to that phone call. I wish that we could have sat down, looked each other in the eye and discussed what was on their minds before they took such a drastic action.”

The long-term Muppeteer was hired personally by Jim Henson, who created and voiced the beloved character before Whitmire. Whitmire expressed his disappointment, as he wrote:

“For me the Muppets are not just a job, or a career, or even a passion. I feel that I am at the top of my game, and I want all of you who love the Muppets to know that I would never consider abandoning Kermit or any of the others because to do so would be to forsake the assignment entrusted to me by Jim Henson, my friend and mentor, but even more, my hero.”

Lastly, he expressed that he would not be above returning to the role, if the opportunity was offered:

“I have remained silent the last nine months in hopes that the Disney company might reverse their course. Doing what is best for the Muppets is the lens through which all my interactions have been filtered. Given the opportunity I remain willing to do whatever is required to remedy their concerns because I feel my continued involvement with the characters is in the best interest of the Muppets.”

That offer does not appear to be forthcoming, however, as a Disney spokeswoman said in her statement, “The Muppets Studio thanks Steve for his tremendous contributions to Kermit the Frog and The Muppets franchise. We wish him well in his future endeavors.”

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

Image: Michael Tran/FilmMagic/Getty Images

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