Steve Whitmire was the voice of Kermit the Frog for 27 years. He worked with Jim Henson since 1978 and took over the voice of the famous frog in 1990 when Henson died. Now, Whitmire is speaking out about his firing, saying that he is “devastated to have failed.”
In the wake of his firing, Whitmire called Jim Henson his mentor. It’s clear that his work on The Muppets was something that he loved dearly. Just one day after learning his fate, Whitmire shared a blog post about losing more than just a job.
“For me the Muppets are not just a job, or a career, or even a passion. They are a calling, an urgent, undeniable, impossible to resist way of life,” Whitmire wrote. “This is my life’s work since I was 19 years old. 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.”
— Annah Inocente (@thisisannah) July 13, 2017
According to several reports, Steve Whitmire knew that he was going to lose his job. He was warned by Disney that they were considering a recast due to some issues with Whitmire but he didn’t elaborate as to what their complaints were.
Instead, Whitmire lamented in his blog that he continued on, hoping that those in charge would change their minds and keep him around to continue his role as Kermit the Frog. Whitmire made it clear that he would never voluntarily quit his role as Kermit and that this decision was not something he wanted.
— Melissa Scopelitis (@MelissaY1) July 10, 2017
Muppet Studio and Disney have remained mostly quiet in the wake of Steve Whitmire’s firing. Time reported that they received a statement and that Muppet Studio “thanks Steve for his tremendous contributions to Kermit the Frog and the Muppets franchise. We wish him well in his future endeavors.”
Matt Vogel, who is also a longtime Muppets puppeteer, will reportedly take over the role of Kermit the Frog.
Kermit the Frog has been the centerpiece of the Muppets. He was Jim Henson’s most famous Muppet and the role was near and dear to the creator’s heart.
Fans of the series are hoping that Matt Vogel does Kermit the Frog justice since, for many, Whitmire in the role is all they know. After all, it’s not easy being green.