Puppeteer Steve Whitmire has said that he is ‘devastated’ after being fired as the voice of Kermit the Frog after 27 years.
The voice of the much-loved Muppet revealed that he had been let go from the role as he would never have “abandoned” the character voluntarily.
In an emotional blog post, Whitmire said that he had attempted to work out “multiple remedies” to the reasons behind his firing, without actually disclosing what they were.
“For me the Muppets are not just a job, or a career, or even a passion. They are a calling, an urgent, undeniable, impossible to resist way of life,” he wrote.
“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.”
The puppeteer had worked on the Muppets since 1978 and voiced a number of characters including Rizzo the Rat and Fraggle Rock characters.
Matt Vogel, who is currently part of the Muppet team, will take over as the voice of Kermit and will be first heard in the role later this year.
He will debut the new voice of Kermit during a new Muppets Thought of the Week video, a new series which has been launched on YouTube.
Vogel, who has been a Muppets puppeteer since the 1990s, played the role of Constantine, a Kermit imitator, in 2014 film Muppets Most Wanted.