14/07/2017 11:33 BST

Kermit The Frog Voice Actor Steve Whitmire Claims He Was Fired, Following Announcement He Is Being Replaced

'I am devastated to have failed in my duty to my hero.'

The voice of Kermit The Frog, Steve Whitmire, has claimed he has been let go from his job, following the news that he was being replaced.

Earlier this week, it was announced that the voice actor and puppeteer was being replaced by Matt Vogel, after 27 years in the role of Kermit. 

While no reason was given at the time, Steve has now claimed he was fired from the role, in a personal blog addressed to his fans.

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Apologising to fans - as well as to his hero Jim Henson, who created The Muppets and was the original voice of Kermit - Steve wrote: “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.

“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.

“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.”

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Jim Henson originally voiced Kermit

Steve was only the second person to voice Kermit, taking over from Jim Henson in 1990, when he stepped down due to ill health. 

His replacement, Matt Vogel, has voiced the likes of ‘Sesame Street’ character Count von Count, and Kermit’s evil doppelgänger Constantine in the 2014 film ‘Muppets Most Wanted’. 

A Muppets spokesperson previously 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.”

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