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Where is Steve Whitmire Petition

Discussion in 'Muppet Headlines' started by theprawncracker, Sep 13, 2009.

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  1. RockSTAR girl

    RockSTAR girl Member

    usually you can't see @replys on twitter on the web if you are not followed back, but if Jimmy is checking twitter from a cell phone application (like an iphone app) it will show up. so lets just hope he checks it through his phone.
     
  2. RockSTAR girl

    RockSTAR girl Member

    oh Also, Artie Esposito is on Myspace and Facebook. Maybe someone can send him a message, something like "hey man, are you doing Kermit from now on?" that may get us the answers we are looking for.
     
  3. Kynan Barker

    Kynan Barker New Member

    Artie is also a current member of both Muppet Central and Tough Pigs, and has visited both forums in the past few days. I'm sure if he was able to comment, he would have done so by now.
     
  4. muppetperson

    muppetperson Well-Known Member

    He is reading this right now. Artie, can you comment?
     
  5. muppetperson

    muppetperson Well-Known Member

    .......and he has gone! Artie was there a while, so he obviously has read everything and not able to comment.
     
  6. Luke

    Luke Active Member

    Raising the publics awareness of this via the media is a great idea as has been suggested. I think that may be a great way of finding out whats going on.
     
  7. Super Scooter

    Super Scooter New Member

    I basically agree with this. I signed the petition because I do want to know if everything's okay with Steve, but if I were to write a letter, it would include some of the following, I think:

    If it was Mr. Whitmire's decision to end his career perfoming Kermit, I'll respect his decision. If he is ill, I wish him well. If this was some corporate decision to get rid of Mr. Whitmire, this is simply unaccaptable. However, no matter what the reason is, Kermit the Frog should be performed by a qualified puppeteer, not just anyone. Mr. Esposito is, in my opinion, very talented, but he is not Kermit. I do not feel he has the personality or voice of Kermit right, and his puppetry skills, while good, are not on the level of Jim Henson or Steve Whitmire, both of whom could be considered among "the best of the best." My reccomendation is that if Steve Whitmire is no longer able to perform Kermit, something I personally dread, that the new performer of Kermit be of equal quality to his predecessors.

    ... Or something like that.
     
  8. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    There's something that I thought of. Could it be possible that maybe Disney is considering making a new Muppet series, and wants Steve to have an understudy before it begins, in case anything happens to him while the show is on the air, so that a Kermit recast wouldn't be rushed?

    After all, it seems like all Muppet performers who have died weren't currently performing on any show besides Sesame Street, which repeats it's sketches in many episodes, but all other Henson shows don't repeat scenes from episode to episode.
     
  9. tomahawk

    tomahawk Member

    My fear right now is that if no one is commenting on it, it's probably in the "I'm dreading the answer to this question." zone. I mean if no one can talk about it?:scary:
     
  10. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Or we scared him off. :eek:
     
  11. RockSTAR girl

    RockSTAR girl Member

    Well, i had read this article, i forget where, but it said that Disney held auditions for puppeteers so there could be more than one Kermit performed at a time. This may just be them testing the waters with a different Kermit, which obvious by our reaction, was unsuccessful.
     
  12. More speculation

    Everyone's worried that no news means bad news.

    HOWEVER

    Recently, Futurama was announced to return with the original voices. After a few months, word broke that they were replacing all but one of the original voice actors on the series due to disagreements during contract negotiation. During that time, no party (Fox, the actors, Comedy Central) was allowed to hold any discussion nor make comment on the situation. The executives even went so far as to "disinvite" the actors from the Futurama ComicCon panel this year (with a direct stipulation during the panel that recasting would NOT be discussed). However, in the end, after negotiations, all the actors signed back on.

    The case might very well be similar here. If Steve or Disney were to comment, then it's likely that one would lose their footing (or even directly violate the negotiation) and have to either walk or settle for less.

    The difference of course lies in the fact that this comes directly in the middle of the new Muppet marketing push. You can't have the face of your brand hidden. Futurama got away with only a few blips in trade papers since there won't be any real press or footage until next year. In this case, Kermit needs to be making appearances. He is THE muppet. Even if they replaced a few appearances with other characters - Kermit needs to be showing up. I'm sure Disney would prefer not to change anything so suddenly, but they see Kermit on the same plane as Mickey Mouse (relatively speaking) and he has to be out there - Steve or no Steve. That's the philosophy of the voice-over business and, as much as I like to believe Kermit is "real," he's still just another character in Disney's eyes. WB even has their actors re-audition for the parts (Bob Bergen has said he's needed to re-audition for Porky Pig multiple times over the last decades).

    As a performer and entertainment business man myself, I don't think Disney is trying to "pull the rug out from under us." I don't think they're trying to trick us. They are trying to keep Kermit in the spotlight (with someone who may or may not eventually take over the character). If you notice, in both appearances, he says very little. They need his face out there. The voice, in this case, is a secondary concern to Disney. Based on the performance, it seems possible that Disney may have said to keep his visibility to a minimum and not to draw attention to the voice change (whether it's successful or not is another point entirely). You can't have a mute Kermit making appearances at the VMAs or on NBC - but you can have a mute Kermit at a marketing event because he's the face of the brand. So we have someone step in when needed.

    Depending on how long these negotiations have been going on, it may be days or months before we hear anything official (or off the record) And if Steve is holding out for more money/time off/etc - the man does so much with the Frog (and I'm sure Disney is planning on making the Kermit appearance schedule more demanding), he deserves to fight for what he feels is fair. And Disney may just be waiting to see how the financial response is to this D23 relaunch - so Kermit may fade a bit from prominence (as we see a AGT Gonzo solo appearance tonight - when was the last time THAT happened?) - doing small interviews and personal appearances - while Disney figures out what they can/will afford - and if Steve's demands can be met or negotiated at that point, things may change.

    Hopefully, it's all just typical showbusiness mumbo jumbo in the way. Just thought I'd weigh in my two cents.

    Ed

    PS Oh - and after re-reading it, "demands" sounds like a harsh word ("requests" would be better, but not accurate to contract lingo) - so I'm not meaning it to sound like Steve's holding out and being a diva. I just mean he's looking out for his best interest, which anyone in his position would need to do.
     
  13. JimmyDeanDog

    JimmyDeanDog Member

    Follow-up - REVISED MESSAGE

    We called the person at Disney this afternoon
    who would know the official answer re Steve...

    ..we got hung-up on...

    Seems like they're trying to hide something...

    I'll keep you posted...
     
  14. Hat Sharpener

    Hat Sharpener New Member

    Having grown up with Jim Henson as Kermit, it's only in the last few years that I finally accepted Steve's Kermit. I started thinking of him as Roger Moore to Sean Connery. Not the same Bond, but with his own strengths and weaknesses. Kermit's just closer to my heart than 007, and therefore harder to accept. Having watched Kermit in just about every appearance he's made, it's been clear that Steve is great in these improv appearances, and Kermit has had some pretty bad scripts holding him back over the years.


    Upon watching the America's Got Talent appearance I felt like I'd got punched in the stomach, but after some time and this latest appearance, I'm feeling a little more optimistic. A little.


    When Eric Jacobson came around, we were all expecting it, given Frank's apparent waning enthusiasm for working with the Muppets since Jim's passing. Those of us Muppet-obsessed saw Eric in the behind the scenes of Muppets From Space*, etc. Admittedly, it also helped that Eric Jacobson is amazingly talented. This time, there was no warning at all, and combined with everyone's healthy skepticism about the Disney Machine, I was totally thrown for a loop.


    As for Artie's performances, I don't want to make excuses - they were bad - but I cannot imagine how fast the guy's heart must have been going at these things. If he is indeed going to be Timothy Dalton, then he'll get more comfortable as he has these short appearances. It seems unlikely that they would have entrusted him with this if the guy has no wit or a sense of humor... I hope. I really hope.


    Eric's growing confidence has done wonders for Fozzie and Piggy. He can now sing properly, and has begun stealing the show in proper Piggy fashion. Even Steve got better as it seemed that he started BEING Kermit rather than trying to impersonate Jim's performances. Artie's puppetry was stiff and (very) awkward at times, but for the first several years even Steve seemed to perform with a certain reverence for the puppet and a disinclination to put it through it's paces like Jim did for all those memorable facial expressions.


    When it comes to the politics and/or health issues that may have been involved in this move, I don't know Steve personally but have enjoyed his work for most of my life, so wish him the best of luck in whatever situation he has found himself. I would welcome his Kermit back with open arms. Not to mention Rizzo and the lot.


    - Derek


    P.S. This was also my first post on ToughPigs forum. What's the cross-posting etiquette these days?

    * or was that John Kennedy?
     
  15. Super Scooter

    Super Scooter New Member

    Perhaps Disney could see our point of view with a more appropriate illustration ala Johnny Depp. At D23, we saw Johnny Depp arrived as Jack Sparrow. They could have hired a look-a-like, but they didn't. Johnny Depp IS Jack Sparrow. Now, how would Pirates of the Caribbean fans feel if Disney sent in, oh, say Drew Carey to play Sparrow for D23? Would you say, ah, no one will notice! Drew Carey's talented. He'll be accepted on that basis... Wrong. Fans would find this unacceptable, and would have every reason to be outraged. You can bet they would very loudly state their opinion.

    Of course, if Drew Carey showed up to parody Jack Sparrow, that would be funny. I'm talking about trying to pass Carey off as Sparrow, the same as they tried to pass off Kismet the Toad for Kermit the Frog.
     
  16. tomahawk

    tomahawk Member

    This is why I'm starting to get worried.
     
  17. muppets2

    muppets2 New Member

    hmmm they are hiding something but they will never get away with it
     
  18. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    I don't think that necessarily means they are hiding something. It may just be a question the person didn't know how to answer and therefore chose not to deal with it.
     
  19. muppets2

    muppets2 New Member

    maybe or maybe not who else would no decides disney?
     
  20. tomahawk

    tomahawk Member

    Hanging up on someone is not a great way to deal with it.
     


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