What is happening with the Muppets? Recently, Steve Whitmire addressed his unexpected departure from the long-running Disney franchise.
Earlier, we reported that Whitmire is no longer working with the Muppets. The performer began working on The Muppet Show in 1978 and after Jim Henson died in 1990, he became the voice and puppeteer for two of the Muppets’ most legendary characters—Kermit the Frog and Ernie from Sesame Street. Whitmire’s other Muppet characters include Rizzo the Rat, Beaker, and Statler.
While Disney did not explain Whitmire’s exit, the performer recently posted a blog where he revealed that he was fired from the franchise:
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.”
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. …
Please forgive any faux pas as I have not been active in social media previously and have a serious learning curve. 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.”
What do you think? Are you a fan of Whitmire’s performances with the Muppets? Do you think Disney should bring him back?