Steve Whitmire took over as the Muppets famous amphibian when Jim Henson died in 1990
Steve Whitmire, the puppeteer who was fired after 27 years as Kermit the Frog has said he is devastated to have failed Muppets founder and his mentor Jim Henson.
He said he was let go against his will, and would never have left voluntarily.
For me the Muppets are not just a chore, or a career, or even a passion. They are a calling, an urgent, undeniable, impossible to defy way of life, Whitmire wrote. This is my lifes 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.
Whitmire said he was informed that Kermit would be recast in October, and has maintained silent in the ensuing months in the hopes that he could get his boss to change their minds. He said he offered multiple remedies to the reasons he was given for his firing.
He would not say what those reasons were , nor would Muppet Studio or its mother company Disney, who have not responded to requests for commentary from The Associated Press.
Muppets Studio said in a statement to Time magazine that it thanks Steve for his tremendous contributions to Kermit the Frog and the Muppets franchise. We wish him well in his future endeavours.
The Hollywood Reporter and ABC News reported on Wednesday that longtime Muppets performer Matt Vogel will take over as Kermit.
Kermit was Hensons signature character, and the centrepiece of the Muppets franchise from 1955 until 1990. When he died it was unthinkable for many to imagine someone else taking on the role.
But Whitmire took up the job, and became the only Kermit many of todays young adults and children have ever known.
The two constructed TV appearances on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, 30 Rock and Saturday Night Live and in movies like Muppets Most Wanted and The Muppets.
Addressing friends and fans, Whitmire wrote on his blog: I just want you all to know that I am sorry if I have frustrated any of you at any point throughout our journey, and to let everyone know that I am devastated to have failed to meet my duty to my hero.
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