Steve Whitmire claimed that he was ousted by Disney as the voice of Kermit the Frog in a blog post published on Thursday, July 13.
“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,” wrote the 57-year-old puppeteer, who has also voiced Rizzo the Rat, Beaker and other Muppets characters. “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 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.”
A Muppets spokesperson confirmed Whitmire’s exit from the role to The Hollywood Reporter on Tuesday, June 11. Whitmire, who has croaked the character of Kermit for 27 years, continued in his blog post, “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 with all my interactions have been filtered.”
Clinging onto hope, Whitmire added, “Given the opportunity I remain willing to do whatever is required to remedy [Disney’s] concerns because I feel my continued involvement with the characters is in the best interest of the Muppets.”
The performer, who will now be replaced by Matt Vogel, explained that he created his website “to connect and share on all things Muppet, past, present, and future” with his fanbase, who he thanked for being “an invaluable parter in co-creating the existence of the Muppets.”
Whitmire also penned an apology to those who felt that he didn’t fulfill the obligations of his role as Kermit to the best of his ability: “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.”
Disney has yet to comment on Whitmire’s claims.