This has been a crazy, and emotional week for Muppet fans. At the beginning of this week we learned that long time Muppet performer Steve Whitmire would no longer be working with the Muppets. For those who may not know who Steve is, he has created and performed Rizzo the Rat, Bean Bunny, and Lips. In 1990 Steve took over performing duties for Kermit the Frog due to the untimely death of Jim Henson.
When this news broke many fans had many questions regarding what had happened, and more importantly was Steve well. A day after this news broke Steve started his very own blog, ‘Muppet Pundit’, which you can find here.
With this new information, fans get a small glimpse as to what Steve has been going through the last few months. As it would appear he has been in a battle with the owners of the Muppets The Walt Disney Company which bought the Muppets back in 2004.
In October of 2016 Steve received a phone call saying Kermit was going to be recast, and that another long time Muppet performer Matt Vogel would be taking his place. According to Steve, there where two unmentioned issues that Disney was having, and Steve was not allowed to have an opportunity to try and rectify the situation.
Now there are some fellow bloggers out there that will disagree with me, but I feel that as Muppet fans we cannot accept this! Steve was not just performing Kermit, but he was also trying to protect the Muppets and Jim’s legacy and vision. Now it is true that we do not know all of the reasons for Steve being let go, but if it is because he was trying to protect the Muppets and their integrity then us Muppet fans must take a stand!
As of right now, there is one way fans can take that stand. There is an online petition, and it is growing fast. You can find the petition here.
I would personally like to ask everyone to please sign this petition. Let’s let Disney know that we not only care about the Muppet characters, but also the people who work with them. Together we can make a difference!