Steve Whitmire took over as the Muppets famous amphibian If Jim Henson died in 1990
Steve Whitmire, the puppeteer who had been fired following 27 years since Kermit the Frog has said he is devastated to have neglected Muppets founder and his mentor Jim Henson.
He said he had been allowed go contrary to his will, and would never have left financially.
For me the Muppets are not just a job, or even a career, or perhaps a passion. They are a calling, an desperate, undeniable, impossible to resist way of existence, Whitmire wrote. This is my lifes work because I was 19 years old. I believe I am at the very top of my sport, and I need all of you that love the Muppets to know that I would never consider abandoning Kermit.
Whitmire said that he was informed that Kermit will be recast in October, and has kept silent in the ensuing months in the hopes he could get his managers to change their minds. He said he offered multiple remedies to the reasons he had been given for his firing.
He would not say what these reasons were could Muppet Studio or its parent company Disney, who have not responded to requests for comment from The Associated Press.
Muppets Studio said in a statement to Time magazine it thanks Steve for his enormous gifts 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 actress Matt Vogel will take more than Kermit.
Kermit has been Hensons signature personality, and the centrepiece of the Muppets franchise from 1955 until 1990. After he died it was unthinkable for many to imagine someone else taking on the function.
But Whitmire took up the occupation, and became the only Kermit many of todays young adults and children have ever been known.
Both made TV appearances on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, 30 Rock and Saturday Night Live and in movies including Muppets Most Wanted and The Muppets.
Addressing friends and fans, Whitmire wrote on his blog: I just need you to know that I am sorry if I’ve disappointed any of you at any point during our trip, and to let everybody know that I am devastated to have failed in my duty for my own hero.