The war wages on between ousted Kermit the Frog puppeteer Steve Whitmire and the Muppets franchise.
Whitmire took to his personal blog on Wednesday following criticism from Cheryl Henson, daughter of late Muppets creator Jim Henson. Whitmire has posted numerous messages after announcing last week that Disney had replaced him with Matt Vogel as the voice of Kermit after 27 years.
Cheryl wrote on Facebook earlier this week that Whitmire was never Jim’s choice to take over for him as the beloved character, adding that Whitmire’s vision of Kermit had veered from Jim’s.
“Steve’s performance of Kermit has strayed far away from my father’s good-hearted, compassionate leader of the Muppets,” Cheryl wrote. “Steve performed Kermit as a bitter, angry, depressed victim. Worst of all, in the past few years, he had not been funny or fun. Recasting Kermit is long overdue.”
In his response, Whitmire posted a passage from a 1990 interview with Jim’s widow, Jane Henson, in which she said that Jim had “essentially chosen” his successor, although Jane doesn’t mention Whitmire by name.
Whitmire wrote in his most recent post that he loves “Jim as a friend and mentor, while Cheryl loves him as a father. Don’t judge her emotional posts too harshly.”
The performer added that he agreed with Cheryl’s take on the evolution of Kermit, and that he had even tried to point this out to the studio, which he believes contributed to him getting fired.
“I hope all of you and Cheryl, too, can understand that being outspoken about these very character issues to the top creative executives on the ABC series is at the core of the number one issue stated to me for my termination by The Muppets Studios,” Whitmire wrote.
This follows Muppets Studio having released a statement on Monday saying that he was fired for “unacceptable business conduct.”
Brian Henson, who is Cheryl’s brother and chairman of the Jim Henson Company, told the New York Times later that day that Whitmire sent messages “attacking everyone, attacking the writing and attacking the director,” during his time as Kermit.