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Steve Whitmire has left the Muppets, Matt Vogel to continue as Kermit

Greenhoodie

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I never really thought about it like that
None of this is simple. I feel really terribly for Steve. But at what point does this end? I want to hear him tell us of the Muppets past, tell us what he feels about projects, etc., but I'm losing interest in watching his decent into passively demonizing an increasing number of groups and people. The fact that he had to respond to a fans question on whether to hate or like Debbie, should have been a wake up call that he needs to be more careful in what he is stirring up though his loaded communications. More and more I feel like we're seeing what got him fired. I think he means well, but his delivery is not great.

In terms of the recast/understudy issue, he keeps bringing up the point that Jim never had them, ignoring the many, many anecdotes and written history of Jim literally contemplating doing just that during the time of the Disney deal. With him being busy and Frank taking on more directing, he knew that he might need secondary performers available to take on the characters when they weren't available. Well, it happened. And Steve found himself someone to perform besides Rizzo.

If fans really want the one true Kermit as they insist, watch the old stuff. Younger fans might have the epiphany that it was actually Jim. Then start looking forward. Jim died and Steve got to care for him for a bit. So yeah, he was the one true Kermit for a period of time. But you know what, the next time we see him, he'll be the one true Kermit again, this time performed by his new, official performer, Matt Vogel.
 

D'Snowth

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But, then again, he also got let go for unknown reasons, so he's not exactly on a higher horse.
The reasons may be unknown, but the implications are strong that Steve would often throw the younger, newer, and lesser-experienced performers under the bus: not only have the Hensons implied this, but Rick has heavily implied that his termination from SST was Steve's doing.
 

MuppetsRule

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You know who else is throwing collaborators under the bus and creating schisms? Steve.

Everything you are saying assumes that what Steve is saying is the whole, unfiltered gospel truth. It clearly isn't. Disney and the Henson's have stopped responding. They put out their statements in response to Steve's statement and then things went back and forth. Disney stopped, Steve is still rolling. So we are only getting one perspective on this. He's talking in circles at this point, and quite frankly, each post just illustrates the other side as well. Even when I agree with him, perhaps the way he words things in text and his steadfast belief that he is seemingly the only guy who can save the Muppets. He's even enticed us fans by saying he's got the definitive project that can save the brand. That is manipulation. Only one performer has managed to get himself fired from the Muppets. From Kermit the Frog no less. That doesn't just happen. That he lost Ernie too should speak volumes that we aren't getting a full picture. After all this, how could they even take him back and have it go smoothly? He's done a lot of damage in his own words.

Since he's started with his blog and statements he's slowly but surely started gone from targeting groups broadly and circled to specifics. Disney. Disney executives. Debbie McClellan. Pre vs Post Jim performers. Remaining performers. Matt specifically. The fan communities. Toughpigs. He hasn't had universal praise and support here either, so it's only a matter of time before MC is brought up as a new evil. I feel bad for the guy, but enough is enough.

Steve can complain about Rizzo and Bean all he wants, but would anybody even know if he wasn't performing Lips or Foo Foo? Kermit isn't him. Period. Nor is the Newsman, Link, Ernie. They were Jim's. The Irony is that Steve is the alpha recast. He was the first example of why understudies are important. He's the first example of a character being diminished by the sudden loss of their creator. If Jim hadn't died, he would have been making the decision to recast Richard's character. He would have done it because he wanted the characters to live beyond their performers. That Steve doesn't see that is asinine. So many characters, gone for years, because they never imagined what to do when one of them died or left. Now they do. Sesame Street certainly gets it. You keep moving. That is what is best for the characters. Steve isn't talking about what is best for the Muppets anymore, he's talking about what is best for Steve. Kermit will be fine. They Muppets will be fine. They are bigger than one guy.
Wish I could give this more than 1 like. It deserves 1000
 

Censored

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None of this is simple. I feel really terribly for Steve. But at what point does this end? I want to hear him tell us of the Muppets past, tell us what he feels about projects, etc., but I'm losing interest in watching his decent into passively demonizing an increasing number of groups and people. The fact that he had to respond to a fans question on whether to hate or like Debbie, should have been a wake up call that he needs to be more careful in what he is stirring up though his loaded communications. More and more I feel like we're seeing what got him fired. I think he means well, but his delivery is not great.

In terms of the recast/understudy issue, he keeps bringing up the point that Jim never had them, ignoring the many, many anecdotes and written history of Jim literally contemplating doing just that during the time of the Disney deal. With him being busy and Frank taking on more directing, he knew that he might need secondary performers available to take on the characters when they weren't available. Well, it happened. And Steve found himself someone to perform besides Rizzo.

If fans really want the one true Kermit as they insist, watch the old stuff. Younger fans might have the epiphany that it was actually Jim. Then start looking forward. Jim died and Steve got to care for him for a bit. So yeah, he was the one true Kermit for a period of time. But you know what, the next time we see him, he'll be the one true Kermit again, this time performed by his new, official performer, Matt Vogel.
Yes. Too much self-pity and self-boasting.
 

DarthGonzo

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To be fair, though, I don't think the average kid who goes into a movie theater to watch a muppet movie is going to care (or even know) about the behind-the-scenes politics. If Disney manages to put out some quality Muppet productions, and if Matt does a good job in the role, that's ultimately going to be what matters most. This situation with Steve has a lot people on this board getting riled up, but we're a tiny, tiny fraction of the general audience. So I don't think it's going to hurt the brand in any significant way.

What DID hurt the brand (and will continue to hurt it) is a lack of good content. We had two good movies in recent years, which is great, but there was a looong dry spell before that. There was also the recent tv series, but it's quality was... questionable. I know some people enjoyed it, but it clearly didn't get the positive reception everyone had hoped for. The other recent tv special, with Lady Gaga, also didn't come close to the quality of earlier specials like "Muppet Family Christmas."

So if Disney can get the Muppets back on track in terms of putting out quality content on a fairly regular basis, I really don't think the backstage stuff will make much difference to the vast majority of people.
The second movie, regardless of whether you can argue that it's good or not, made less than half of what the first one did worldwide and made its budget back domestically by just over a million dollars. That was NOT good at all.

Box office failures don't help a brand either.

And if I could like greenhoodie's posts a billion times I would!
 
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ErinAardvark

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Box office failures don't help a brand either.
I have to agree with you on that one. I liked MMW myself, which is probably why it failed. The thing with me is if I like it, the general public doesn't, and if I don't like it, the general public does. (I'm just kidding on that, folks, it's just my failed attempt at being humorous).
 

xSunnyEclipse

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While I do agree with Green Hoodie's post and it does deserve more than 1 like, I still don't know if I can move on yet and accept a new Kermit now.

Not until I see something. Anything from Matt performing him. I had mentioned my strong connection to the character of Kermit, and maybe if it was any of your favorite characters, you'd have the same feeling as me. Questioning and waiting to see what he gives to my favorite character. Can I still love the same character I've loved since Jim and Steve performed him?

This feeling won't go away until Matt performing him is out there for us to see and when it does, I'll see if my opinion changes. No doubt Matt will do amazing work, but I need to feel the connection to the character before I decide anything.
 
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