via-imdb.comMuppet fans young and old are reacting to the shocking news that Steve Whitmire, the man who voices Kermit the Frog himself, has been fired. According to Whitmire’s blog, he received the call back in October from executives of Muppets Studio, which has been owned by Disney since 2004. As for the reason behind the firing, Whitmire didn’t explain. He only said that there were “two major issues” that the executives told him about. He spent the months after the phone call “[offering]… remedies” to the issues and hoping that “Disney… might reverse their course.” Sadly, they did not. Whitmire claims that he “would never consider abandoning Kermit,” making it clear that he is not simply retiring.
Jim Henson, the man who created the Muppets, voiced Kermit until his death in 1990, when Whitmire took over. Whitmire voiced Kermit in the two Disney-helmed Muppet movies, belting out the much-loved tune “The Rainbow Connection” in 2011’s The Muppets. Kermit remains the most iconic of the Muppet characters—and, arguably, one of the most iconic characters of all time. Here’s some heartwarming life advice from the Muppets.
The good news is, this doesn’t mean that we’ve seen the last of the beloved amphibian. He’s simply getting a new voice. Kermit will now be played by Matt Vogel, who is no stranger to the Muppet world. He’s done small voices in several Muppet shows and movies, and even voiced Kermit’s evil doppelgänger in 2014’s Muppets Most Wanted. So Kermit himself isn’t going anywhere—but for Muppet fans, this definitely marks the end of an era. Here’s the story behind Kermit’s hit “(It’s Not Easy) Bein’ Green,” plus five other Muppet songs.