After 27 years, Kermit the frog puppeteer has been fired, RadarOnline.com has learned.
Steve Whitmire has confessed that he is shattered after being sporadically let go from Disney’s Muppet Studios.
“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,” he said.
The longtime puppeteer claimed he is “devastated” at losing the job he loved and “failed in my duty” to Muppets creator Jim Henson.
“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 in a blog post.
Whitmire claimed Disney had warned him about the firing last year, saying they were considering recasting over two “issues”, but he had stayed quiet, hoping it would all go away.
He reportedly also offered “multiple remedies” to their issues in order to keep his job.
In a recent statement after his firing, Whitmire sadly stated: “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.”
Whitmire has worked with the Muppets since 1978 and voiced Kermit since Henson’s death in 1990. He was also the man behind Statler, Rizzo the Rat, Beaker and other characters for the Muppets.
Whitmire – who has been the voice of the beloved frog since 1978, when Henson passed – is being replaced by none other than Matt Vogel.
Another Muppets puppeteer veteran, Vogel has done the voice of Big Bird, Robin the Frog and The Count.
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