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Longtime Voice Of Kermit the Frog Reveals He Was Fired and Is 'Devastated'

When news broke that Steve Whitmire, the longtime puppeteer and voice of Kermit the Frog would be leaving The Muppets after 27 years, it was widely assumed that it was his call.

However, Whitmire has revealed that he was abruptly fired by Disney and says he's "devastated to have failed" Muppets founder and his mentor Jim Henson.

He clarifies that it was Disney's choice to let him go and he would've never left voluntarily. Without specifying, Whitmire says Disney gave him two reasons for his dismissal and didn't gave him any chance to address them.

"For me the Muppets are not just a job, or a career, or even a passion," he explains in a post. "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."

"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."

"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," he concludes.

In a statement, Disney didn't address any of the substance in Whitmire's post and only said "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."

July 14, 2017 |

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