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

HJL1

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I've actually been responding all over on other people's posts. It's unfortunate that it was all played out so publicly. I don't think anybody handled it particularly well. It's no secret that I never felt Steve was the right choice for the role - he's just not good enough an actor. His professional behavior - his combative contract negotiations, for example - has been well-known to his peers for many years. His sense of entitlement and ownership to the character of Kermit has always struck me as self-serving and misguided, and his repeated insistence that Jim entrusted Kermit to him has always been completely untrue. Does he suck at Kermit? No. Is he great at Kermit? Also no. And he has thrown his fellow puppeteers under the bus many times, blackballing people - like me - who he saw as threats. So, I am not sad to see him go. What I really want to do is send him a message that says, "So, now you know how I feel. Hurts, doesn't it?"


- Rick Lyon posted this on FB. Interesting.
 

Muppet Master

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Not much, though. I know Frank still did SST "for fun," for the most part, but he otherwise didn't actually perform in movies like MTI or MFS - he just looped his characters' voices.
Ya, I don't think he really performed with Steve outside of MCC. Maybe that's part of the reason why he left the muppets.
 

D'Snowth

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I hate to say this at this point, but my opinions of this entire situation are beginning to shift: more and more people within the Muppets coming forward and saying the same things about Steve, his behavior, and his conduct . . . it has to make you think there has to be some truth to this, and perhaps maybe Steve isn't being entirely honest; again, everybody else is saying the same thing, but he's saying something different. . . .

I don't want to suggest that Steve is perhaps lying about all of this, but as I said, I can't help but wonder if he's not being entirely honest.
 
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CBPuppets

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At least Stephen Colbert is having fun with all of this:

Even Seth Meyers managed to get off a hilarious zinger regarding Steve's termination over his business conduct: "Apparently, and this is shocking, he put his hand up a co-worker's butt. . . . Not Kermit's."
Rick Lyon really does a Mean Kermit Here!
 

D'Snowth

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THE TALK (Sara Gilbert and CBS's liberal rip-off of THE VIEW, which nobody watches anymore anyway) weighed in on this debocal today, even sharing quotes from both Cheryl and Brian Henson about all of this. They felt as though Steve probably should have some say in how he feels Kermit as a character should be written or directed for, but they also addressed a sad truth I previously pointed out, that if you're in show business and you get too picky and complainy about things, you can be shown the door. They also offered the possibility that Steve's concerns and notes and such may not have been in the wrong, but that perhaps his approach may have been too abrasive and aggressive that it sent the wrong message.
 

CensoredAlso

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THE TALK (Sara Gilbert and CBS's liberal rip-off of THE VIEW, which nobody watches anymore anyway) weighed in on this debocal today, even sharing quotes from both Cheryl and Brian Henson about all of this. They felt as though Steve probably should have some say in how he feels Kermit as a character should be written or directed for, but they also addressed a sad truth I previously pointed out, that if you're in show business and you get too picky and complainy about things, you can be shown the door. They also offered the possibility that Steve's concerns and notes and such may not have been in the wrong, but that perhaps his approach may have been too abrasive and aggressive that it sent the wrong message.
They are spot on. Like I said before, you can give your opinion at work, but at some point you either play ball, or you have to resign, or you're asked to leave.
 

rocketdave

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At least Stephen Colbert is having fun with all of this:
I'm bad at staying abreast of the news, Muppet related or otherwise, so I actually found out about all this via that first Colbert sketch. I guess it's the sort of thing that's easy to make jokes about, but it kind of struck me as being a little cruel of Stephen Colbert to make light of this situation, particularly considering that Kermit made an appearance on his show a year ago.


True, Colbert ruthlessly mocks another former guest of his on a nightly basis and it's one of the reasons I love him, but I don't think I'm being hypocritical. After all, it's one thing to make fun of one of someone who is currently one of the most powerful people in the world and another to joke about a puppeteer who just got fired. I dunno, maybe Whitmire even left a poor impression on Stephen during their brief time together?

When I first heard about this, I was pretty upset. It's sometimes been tough for me to maintain an upbeat attitude about the Muppets since the ABC series (which I was mostly enjoying) got the axe last year and this felt like one more thing to dim my enthusiasm. I still feel bad for Steve, but having read the comments by the Hensons, etc., I have to admit that it's probably a little less black and white than a case of the big heartless corporation picking on the poor performer who just wants to entertain the nice people. It's unfortunate that something like this is what it took for me to come out of the woodwork and comment on this forum.
 
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