There are few frogs we like in our lives (sorry, but you have to admit they’re pretty darn weird) but we can’t help but have a little soft spot for Kermit the Frog. The frog has been the star of The Muppets, Sesame Street, commercials and even memes since its creation in 1955. Now, the voice we’ve all loved since 1990 will be no longer.
Over the past few days, news circulated over the apparent stepping-down of long-term Kermit voice actor, Steve Whitmire. The news originally came from The Muppet fan site Tough Pigs (anyone else going to spend the rest of the day on here? Or just us?) although the reasoning behind this was never revealed. However, we can now confirm that Whitmire did not leave on his own accord. In fact, Whitmire was first fired nine months ago but had not made it public knowledge in the hope that Disney would change their mind. Ouch. Our hearts.
Yesterday, Whitmire created a brand new blog to confirm the news and write his own side of the story. He writes,
I have experienced every possible emotion since October 2016, when I received a phone call from The Muppets Studio’s representatives 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.
Throughout his blog, Whitmire never confessed what the two stated issues were – but it’s hard to imagine the reasoning behind firing a Muppet veteran who has voiced Kermit for 26 years. When The Muppets was first created by Jim Henson, Henson himself voiced the main character. However, after his death in 1990, Whitmire took over, and for many of us, has been the voice we love and remember from our childhood. But apparently, this doesn’t faze Disney, as they have already found a replacement who will be making his debut next week.
Matt Vogel will be donning his green suit and webbed feet (not literally of course) to replace Whitmire as the new Kermit. But thankfully, Vogel isn’t new to the Muppets game and has himself been working on the show since 1996 as the voices of Lew Zealand, the Count, and Floyd. It’s said that Vogel will make his first appearance as Kermit the Frog on The Muppets’ weekly YouTube show, ‘Thought of the Week’ next week.
Despite this new appointment, and the way in which he was treated, Whitmire is still holding out hope to return to the show.
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.
He then continued,
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.
Steve ended his blog post by apologizing to all of the fans of the Muppets and Kermit who have followed him throughout the years.
I just want you all to know that I am sorry if I have disappointed any of you at any point throughout our journey, and to let everyone know that I am devastated to have failed in my duty to my hero.
We’re not gonna lie; this totally made us cry. Thank you for your service, Kermit.