It seems The Muppets star did not want to leave his post.
Just days after it was revealed that Kermit the Frog was getting a new voice, the circumstances of Steve Whitmire's departure from The Muppets have been revealed. It seems that it wasn't an early retirement after all, and the actor is devastated to be leaving the franchise.
Kermit the Frog with Miss Piggy at 'Muppets Most Wanted' premiere
Sadly, the 57-year-old has not left his role as Kermit voluntarily; it seems he has been let go after 27 years of service to the Muppets, for reasons which remain unknown. He wrote about the sad news in a blog post this week, not long after it was revealed that Matt Vogel would be replacing him.
'For me the Muppets are not just a job, or a career, or even a passion', he said. 'They are a calling, an urgent, undeniable, impossible to resist way of life. This is my life's work since I was 19 years old. 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.'
He goes on to say that he has known he was being replaced since October 2016, revealing that he was told of the reasons for his firing but they would not accept his suggestions to 'remedy' the problems, despite the fact that he was ready and willing to do whatever it took to keep his job.
'I have offered multiple remedies to their two stated issues which had never been mentioned to me prior to that phone call', he continued. '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.'
He ends with a heartfelt note of apology to his fans. 'I just want you all to know that I am sorry if I have disappointed any of you at any point throughout our journey, and to let everyone know that I am devastated to have failed in my duty to my hero', he concluded.
Steve has been performing the voice of Kermit since Jim Henson's death in 1990, though he had been a part of the Muppets family since 1978.