Steve Whitmire Releases Statement on Kermit Recasting

Published: July 12, 2017
Categories: News

The Muppet world is still shaking from the news that Steve Whitmire is no longer working with the Muppets.  And while we reel from what this means for the future of the brand, we are left wondering what exactly happened and what the response from Steve would be.

We have learned that Whitmire created a new blog to release his first statement since the news went live.  (Full disclosure: We have no reason to believe this is the work of an imposter, however the possibility is still very real that this is a fake.)  His full response is shared below:

Dear Friends,

In 1978 when I was asked to join The Muppet Show, the Muppets were the hottest thing on the planet. I was invited to sit at the feet of the true masters, Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Jerry Nelson, Richard Hunt, and Dave Goelz; working alongside them, absorbing different skills from each, as we, along with many talented others, contributed towards the same shared vision, the vision of one man. The result became a skill-set for myself that was sort of a compilation of the best of them all.

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.

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.

For decades, you have been an invaluable partner in co-creating the existence of the Muppets, and I am humbled by your devotion to them. There is so much more for us to talk about so I have created this site as a place to connect and share on all things Muppet, past, present and future.

Please forgive any faux pas as I have not been active in social media previously and have a serious learning curve. 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.

It’s heartening to learn that Steve is still dedicated to doing what’s best for the Muppets, as well as all of us fans out there.  However, the most revealing portion of his statement reveals that the decision came from Disney, and it has been in the works since October, 2016.

Of course, there is a lot of information we’re not privy to, including the specific reasons for Steve’s departure, but we’ll continue to dig and ask and hopefully reveal the pertinent facts to this developing situation.

Click here to make some hard choices on the ToughPigs forum!

by Joe Hennes – Joe@ToughPigs.com

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