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Sunday, July 16, 2017

Steve Whitmire Continues to Speak Out

Steve Whitmire continues to update his blog with more thoughts and feelings towards this week's shocking news. Check them out HERE on his official blog or read his latest entries below.

The Latenight Double Feature ‘Post’ Show
July15th, 2017

“Why Don’t You Get Things Started???”, the audience exclaimed.

First I have to say that I am overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support in your comments, from friends old and new, celebrities, press, and fans worldwide. You have no idea how much that means to me. I keep tearing up as I try to read…my keyboard is a mess…. That might explain the technical difficulties that have prevented me from posting. Hopefully things are working and you are reading Thursday’s post now.

I understand and appreciate your range of emotions from sorrow to outrage as I have traveled that path myself. There are many things to tell you about all of this so in order to avoid writing boring dissertations, I am (hopefully) going to break this into more manageable and digestible bits. Plus, its Saturday and I have grass to mow…and laundry to do…

Since so many of you have responded to the last sentence of my first post, “failed in my duty to my hero”, please indulge me in adding a bit more to try to clarify.

I guess I always thought of the work I’ve done with the Muppets as tending my little portion of the garden, you know? But, in the big scheme of all the fear, negativity and really bad stuff in our world it seemed quite small and often ineffective.

I would read cynical comments to fan’s concerns like, ‘I don’t know what the big deal is. It’s just a bunch of puppets’ or ‘Get a life! Anybody can do a Kermit impression…’, and there was a part of me that couldn’t help taking it personally because I realized that, in my mind at least, they were trampling Jim’s legacy. I get pretty defensive when people go after those I care about.

While Jim was unassuming and graceful, he was also powerful in his gentleness and integrity. And those ‘cute little Muppets’ who so many think are for kids were, at their best, raucous, irreverent, outspoken and rebellious against injustice. So, when I speak of ‘failing’ in my duty, a big part of what I mean is this:

Do the Muppets matter in today’s world? Your comments – indicate that they do.

If they matter, then their history matters. Being at their best is vital. I believe characters like Kermit need to remain built on the sturdy foundation of their past in order to be progressive going forward. Integrity is everything, and that’s true for the Muppets, as well. As one of the last two active originators of the Muppets, I still have a big job to do before the next group can effectively step in.

It is no longer the Muppets if core values are lost or discarded. While I fought very hard for the integrity of the Muppets over the last twelve years largely to my own detriment, maybe I should have fought even harder and louder…and, yes, I would have likely been gone sooner… I fear I was the last samurai.


The Latenight Double Feature ‘Post’ Show
Second Show
July 16th, 2017

Website Woes: Notifying all of you who have asked is not quite working, but I’m trying to figure it out…

Having read literally every comment left on the first post, I want to point out one left by Peter A. Cancilla. If you’re interested here are the answers to the questions he poses:

Are you burnt-out and disillusioned?

Burnt-out, no. Disillusioned, yes. Or maybe a better term is disappointed. I firmly stand by my belief that the needs of a large corporation can indeed be balanced with the creative needs of an anomalous franchise like the Muppets. In my opinion, this relationship should be the very definition of symbiosis, and though these two factors have often appeared to be seemingly irreconcilable, the integration of Jim Henson’s essentials with doing business progressively and effectively has been my primary goal for the Muppets over the last dozen years within Disney.

At this point what is your desire?
Do you feel taking an indefinite break from a ‘Muppets’ you possibly no longer recognize may be the only option for your peace of mind?
Or, if given the chance would you jump back into the work and continue pushing for the tone and personality you know to be appropriate for these sacred characters even if you cannot win every battle? 

You’re correct that the Muppets are fast becoming something I no longer recognize, but my desire stays the same: to continue doing what I think is best for the Muppets to whatever extent and on whatever level I am asked. If that means doing nothing more than performing Kermit and the other characters in which I am established and forsaking the offering of unsolicited input, then so be it.

For the record, I officially offered to do exactly that within that first telephone call, a second time by communicating it through my attorney, and I committed to memorializing it in writing. It was flatly refused. Do with that what you will…

…More tomorrow. Best to you all!

1 comment:

  1. You are a true Hero to all Muppet fans around the world.