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Matt Vogel is the New Voice of Kermit

JPPT1974

Active Member
#2
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Good luck to Steve as he leaves. Welcome to Matt! As only two or three people including that voiced him, including the late great Jim Henson.
 

Otterhead

Well-Known Member
#4
More than a bit ironic that the voice of Constantine, the imitation Kermit, is now the voice of Kermit.

Sad to hear about Steve Whitmire leaving; perhaps after the last movie and the cancelled TV show he needed a break.
 

Jrn14

Well-Known Member
#5
Kermit the Frog Muppeteer Says Disney Fired Him

Michael Tran/FilmMagic/Getty Images
Steve Whitmire at the 'Muppets Most Wanted' L.A. premiere.
replaced as the beloved talking frog, originally voiced by creator Jim Henson.

In a post on his personal blog, verified as Whitmire's site by The Hollywood Reporter, he told fans he was sorry they were let down.

"As I am sure you can imagine, I have experienced every possible emotion since October 2016, when I received a phone call from The Muppets Studio's executives to say they were recasting," Whitmire wrote. "Through a new business representative, I have offered multiple remedies to their two stated issues, which had never been mentioned to me prior to that phone call. I wish that we could have sat down, looked each other in the eye and discussed what was on their minds before they took such a drastic action."

A Disney spokeswoman said in a statement: "The Muppets Studio thanks Steve for his tremendous contributions to Kermit the Frog and The Muppets franchise. We wish him well in his future endeavors." No comment was given on the blog's content.

Muppeteer Matt Vogel will take over as Kermit the Frog. His first time as the character will be in a "Muppets Thought of the Week" video next week, Disney confirmed.

It was Henson who personally asked Whitmire to take over the role of Kermit before his untimely death in 1990.

"For me the Muppets are not just a job, or a career, or even a passion," he wrote. "I feel that I am at the top of my game, and I want all of you who love the Muppets to know that I would never consider abandoning Kermit or any of the others because to do so would be to forsake the assignment entrusted to me by Jim Henson, my friend and mentor, but even more, my hero."

Whitmire still has hope, he wrote.

"I have remained silent the last nine months in hopes that the Disney company might reverse their course," he wrote. "Doing what is best for the Muppets is the lens through which all my interactions have been filtered. Given the opportunity I remain willing to do whatever is required to remedy their concerns because I feel my continued involvement with the characters is in the best interest of the Muppets."
 

erasure fan1

Well-Known Member
#7
I wonder when or if the details of why will come out. I was never a huge fan of Steves version of Kermit but this just seems strange. Why let him go after so long unless there was a problem.
 

Gomer

Well-Known Member
#8
I wonder when or if the details of why will come out. I was never a huge fan of Steves version of Kermit but this just seems strange. Why let him go after so long unless there was a problem.
Likely the same reason there's been a rash of layoffs and forced retirements across Disney's subsidiaries of high priced talent. Imagineers, ESPN personalities, muppeteers. It seems like Disney is on a mission to cut overhead by reducing "unnecessary" high cost employees. Even when they are very visible celebrities. It is extremely short-sighted in my opinion.
 

erasure fan1

Well-Known Member
#9
Likely the same reason there's been a rash of layoffs and forced retirements across Disney's subsidiaries of high priced talent. Imagineers, ESPN personalities, muppeteers. It seems like Disney is on a mission to cut overhead by reducing "unnecessary" high cost employees. Even when they are very visible celebrities. It is extremely short-sighted in my opinion.
I get that, except in the grand scheme of things, was Steve really highly paid? The Muppets just seem so off the radar it seems like a strange move.
 

Gomer

Well-Known Member
#10
It isn't about the grand scheme though. Its about relative salary. If each subsidiary and division is charged with reducing overhead, then as far as muppet performers go, I would guess he was probably one of the highest payed considering his tenure and the profile of his role as Kermit.

Its very similar to what happened with ESPN. Jayson Stark doesn't make what Robert Downey Jr makes playing Iron Man or what Bob Chapek makes for killing fanboy dreams with his synergy sword . But for ESPN, he was considered high salaried talent that could be replaced by someone making less without significant repercussions from viewers. So they took a small PR hit to let him go and save a bunch of money (one example among many others) . My guess would be that they took a similar (short sighted) approach with this.
 

Dead2009

Well-Known Member
#11
The Muppet Studio Says Kermit the Frog Actor Replaced For ‘Unacceptable Business Conduct’
http://411mania.com/movies/the-mupp...r-replaced-for-unacceptable-business-conduct/

As we reported last week, former Kermit the Frog voice actor Steve Whitmire, revealed he was fired by Disney and was “devastated” by his release. He was replaced by Matt Vogel after playing the role for 27 years. Now, Variety reports the Muppet Studio has explained why Whitmore was released from the position, citing “unacceptable business conduct.”

They said: “The role of Kermit the Frog is an iconic one that is beloved by fans and we take our responsibility to protect the integrity of that character very seriously. We raised concerns about Steve’s repeated unacceptable business conduct over a period of many years and he consistently failed to address the feedback. The decision to part ways was a difficult one which was made in consultation with the Henson family and has their full support.”

Meanwhile, TMZ reports that Jim Henson’s daughter Cheryl said that Whitmire made Kermit a “bitter, angry, depressed, victim. Worst of all, in the past few years he had not been funny or fun.” She said it was time for a change and told Whitmire to “stop with the pity party.”
 

Phil12

Well-Known Member
#12
Finally, they got rid of Steve Whitmre! This is great news for all Muppet fans. Steve was great as Rizzo the Rat but he never really got the gig with Kermit. I'm looking forward to Matt Vogel's friendship with Kermit.