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

JimAndFrank

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If that's how Cheryl addresses the situation, Steve's response is going to be savage.

I'm not going to share my conclusions until then.
 

dwayne1115

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Ok guys lets not let all this behind the scenes drama hurt our love and loyalty to the Muppets. This is very bad, but these characters that we love so much can over come this. I think at this point it's not about picking sides I think we as fans just need to buckle down and keep showing the Muppets support.
 

Drtooth

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I wasn't going to come back here, but I really can't remain silent on this. This is not good news and no one looks good here, there are no winners, and whatever the problem is on Steve's end or Disney's end, I don't know and I don't want to know. Anything is speculation that could make either side look worse than they really did, and I have no taste in taking any side.

And I also have no taste in giving the same "JHC did nothing, Disney gave us 2 movies and a show" argument. Though, I feel I need to point out the last JHC Muppet project was indefensively terrible and it would be just as awful if they released an increasing level of pop star celebrity focused, early 2000's Scary Movie-esque nonsense. But the thing that really needs to be pointed out is that JHC sold the Muppets to Disney. Similarly, George Lucas sold Star Wars to them, only George did it to flip the property for a charitable donation, and probably so someone else could be the scapegoat for the entire franchise not being as good as Empire Strikes Back, pre-special edition. Disney did buy Pixar because their inhouse CGI movies weren't as good (a hilarious hindsight moment, as Disney's in house CGI films are getting better reviews than some of Pixar as of late), and they did buy Marvel. And my only real problem with the latter is how passive aggressive they are about the movie rights and merchandising of films they don't have the rights to (especially with X-Men and Fantastic Four). Long story short, this is yet another moment of this fanbase being completely unhappy about things being different from the 70's and 80's heyday of JHC.

I've been here since all the way back in the EMTV days, and I've heard it ALL (read, actually...this is a visual medium). EMTV is evil, JHC is incompetent and directionless without Jim, if not right out greedy and inept, Disney is Satan-Hitler-Puppy kicker-batcrap pure darkness. I'd shudder to think in some alternate time line we'd be giving Jim himself the business for taking things in different directions, giving the old "he isn't as good as he used to be" everyone throws at Lucas, Spielberg, and Burton while simultaneously badmouthing younger directors for not being exactly like classic Lucas, Spielberg, and Burton.

At the risk of defending/attacking Disney, if there's one thing I've tired of over the years is the whole notion that they exist in a vacuum. Disney isn't the ONLY company in the entertainment business that does cynical, shrewd things. Not the first, and not the last. The fact a movie about Emojis is evidence enough, but the fact it was fast tracked and doomed two better movies that may never get produced at this point (one being based on an established property that really hasn't done much outside a comic book). The difference is, Disney's the least incompetent of the bunch. Look at everyone struggling to create cinematic universes because Marvel had one (though, through years of slow, hard work... we had 2 now discredited Hulk movies that are somehow still connected to it), and failing. DC has like one good movie out of the last 3. The general movie going public decided now is the time to stop going to Transformers movies after the fourth one (can't really blame them, though. Last Knight was pure dull bullcrappery, even by the low standards of Bayformers). Sony tried to make an entire universe out of just one part of the Marvel universe they held the rights to, but screwed up Amazing Spider-Man 2 so badly they just said "we'll let Disney do it, and we'll just take the box office." To think that only Disney would screw with their own legacy characters (inherited or bought into) after failure is laughable. Need I say "Loonatics Unleashed" again? You know, the flat, boring generic action cartoon they thought would get kids into the franchise after no one saw Back in Action (which they also screwed up?).

I do not like what's going on here anymore than you do, but to me the take home is they're even bothering to recast Kermit. Passive Aggressive crap against Steve aside (we all remember the America's Got Talent incident, right? So this was never new), considering the fact audiences didn't go for Muppets Most Wanted because it looked like more of the same and The Muppets TV show because it wasn't more of the same, Disney has every right to just abandon the crap out of the franchise and I wouldn't blame them. Muppets, like most classic characters, only matter if they sell T-shirts and Christmas ornaments and Funko Pops to the same too casual to call them a casual audience that ignored both the movie and TV show. All Disney has to do is churn out a couple Baseball caps with Kermit on them, maybe some plush toys, and they've made back everything they've paid to Henson. But they've bothered to fire and recast a character. That means they actually have some desire to do something with them. That's the small grain of hope in all this. But darn right it sucks that Steve and Disney couldn't come to a mutual understanding. I don't see why someone just didn't say "You don't like how we run things? FINE! You do it" and just have him head everything. Whatever. Personally, I'm more annoyed at what happened with Sesame Street and Joey, even though Joey left on his own accord (which only makes it slightly better, I guess?). And that show's become even more juvenile than it was during the 2003-2010 period after SW changed management. Sesame really has a more important job in media than the Muppet Show characters do. You can totally see the meddling that caused Joey (and possibly Maria) to leave. I hate the fact that Disney and Steve have been butting heads from day one to the point this happened, but for me, it's an asterisk. It's crappy, but if that means Disney doesn't toss them in permanent mothballs, I can't be too mad. But I agree we've a right to be annoyed.

Though, at least we aren't that annoying part of the Star Wars fanbase that automatically craps on any new Disney SW project because George Lucas didn't suggest an unfunny, probably racist CGI cartoon running and jumping around the whole thing. You hated the darn prequels, you hated the special edition ruination of the original three movies, he's the LAST person you want running the franchise.

But above all, as a fan, and I reiterate the "I've seen it all," I really just can't bother to care much one way or the other. I'll continue to support any Disney made Muppet project...if one ever comes along. I was burnt out after the poor reception of MMW, than TOTALLY burnt out after the poor reception of the TV show. It's getting harder and harder to care about things when every network has become cancel happy over everything I tend to watch. And yes, they're things that I'm far beyond the age of being the target demographic. I don't care much for being related to fan bases since they're waaaay too much drama in each (and we're the least awful as Muppet fans). Sometimes you gotta roll with "I like this, I find influence in it, I'm already telling them to shut up and take my money" but not belonging to any group that feels the same way. Difference of opinion is one thing, but everyone takes things too personally one way or the other. Some get butthurt over the littlest criticism, some just want to be the vocal minority and say bold things with such conviction that they sound smarter than they really are. I've grown tired as heck about that sort of thing. Especially the whole "This thing that everyone loves is terrible, but this thing that everyone rightly hates is much better for reasons" crap. Not saying you can't hate the heck out of Rogue One while loving The Wookie Family moments from the Holiday special (for whatever reason). Just stop doing it in a way that makes everyone feel like idiots for not agreeing with you. I swear, if I see one more clickbaity article about how every Spider-Man movie that isn't the third one (ie the one Marvel, Sony, and Hasbro screwed up to the chagrin of everyone else involved) is vastly inferior, I'm going to lose it.

Which brings me to to the last thing I can say about this.

As fans, a chunk of us is going to be completely unhappy, a chunk of us will be worried, and a chunk of us will bother to find the positives in this. That's natural and will happen. If you want to support the franchise, yet not like the direction it's going in, that's one thing. But don't freaking hate watch things and try to pick out new things to hate about it. If it no longer gives you pleasure, you have every right to stop. Just don't ruin it for everyone else. I can see these events going down that road. You either side with Steve, side with Disney, or balance a level of ambivalence between the two. That's fine and natural. It's what you chose to do with that opinion that matters. You can either treat this as a crappy thing that happened and not want to support them any more or say it's a crappy thing that happened that I'll reserve my judgement for. Just PLEASE don't participate in the "the food is terrible, and such small portions" fandom whining. The "They aren't doing anything with the characters, but when they do it's terrible, so I'm not happy no matter what" schtick.
 
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