Steve Whitmire has been the voice of Kermit the Frog for 27 years since Muppet master Jim Henson died in 1990.
It was announced a few days ago that Whitmire would no longer be voicing the character, but it was not clear why. However, now Whitmire has written a blog post revealing that he was not his decision to leave the show last year. He said he has decided to speak out after remaining silent for nine months “in hopes that the Disney company might reverse their course”.
In the blog Whitmire writes of his dedication to the role and his devastation about the dismissal.
“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. 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 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.”
Later in the post, Whitmire refers to “two stated issues” and “concerns” mentioned to him by The Muppets Studio that contributed to his dismissal, but doesn’t elaborate on what they were. He closes his post by saying he is “devastated to have failed in my duty to my hero”.
Kermit will now be voiced by Muppets puppeteer Matt Vogel, who will make his debut in next week’s Muppets Thought of The Week.