Day Makers

“Steve…this evening I had an epiphany. All this time, I’ve been upset about the way Disney has mistreated *you*. Suddenly, I’ve come to fully realize that I should also be upset with them for mistreating *Kermit*.”…comment by Mary Arlene on August 2, 2017 to my post “Acceptance Fear & Hope”.

This post made my day! That’s the reason for this blog, to try and offer understanding about who the Muppets are, and why what happened in my situation is a symptom of a much more crucial problem. I hope you and the others here who have realized that this is about Kermit and the whole gang can help me explain that bigger issue to those fans and executives, alike, who have not yet had their epiphany.

Also, another day maker, I popped over to Tough Pigs, something I haven’t been doing as of late, just in time to read that I am now considered to be “an even bigger jerk than Frank…”. Now, THAT, is a grand compliment!

 

87 thoughts on “Day Makers

  1. Hey Steve,
    I don’t think Frank is a “jerk”. I don’t think you are a “jerk”. I think you are BOTH dedicated and specialized artists who have a deep, abiding love and understanding of your craft that pretty well NO One else on the planet can ever claim to have.
    I sincerely appreciate your updates and continued insight. I firmly believe that your knowledge and skill is valuable and appreciated.
    Thank you for your continued care. Of everything. Stay strong.

  2. Yep, that’s the way to do it! You just have to take insults as compliments after a while. It just proves that you are getting your word out there. Plus, anyone should be honoured to be compared to Frank!

    And I can assure you, those who have had the ‘epiphany’ are working hard to connect the information you have provided us with the fans who are not quite in the know just yet. We’ll work at it for as long as it takes.

  3. Steve don’t worry to much about what people over at ToughPigs say. You have a huge support base other places. Facebook, Muppet Central, Just for The Halibut, and The Muppet Movement, all of these show you a great amount of respect. Not just for the recent stand you have been taking, but also for the wonderful work you have done throughout the years.

  4. Hi Steve Don’t worry about the morons at Toughpigs I’m over at Muppet Central and on the fourm we had a pretty heated debate on you and your dismissal many are on team Disney/Henson but I still stand on team Steve. But it’s also got me thinking that all this makes Disney look bad makes the Henson company look bad and the saddest of all makes Jim’s legacy look bad

    Conor

    1. I’ve seen some pretty poor behavior on just about ALL the various forums. There’s also many people in each one being civil, thoughtful, trying to understand and work their way through it all and process everything mentally and emotionally. And yes, not only does it make Henson/Muppets/Disney look bad, but it’s all a cycle that goes back and forth – poor decisions and behavior from those representing the Muppets as Leaders can only elicit poor decisions and behavior from The Muppets’ Followers. I posted about this a little in another thread the other day and those initial thoughts then went through a second draft that i posted on my Facebook page (“Mupp Freek”) which i’ll (re)share here:

      “People deal with grief and loss differently. The whole Steve Whitmire situation has hit the Muppet fandom community very hard as it is a loss. Thus, everyone is working through their own grieving process. Sometimes when people are grieving, they sometimes act out; they lash out at others.

      I’m seeing some real ugliness in various forums and places within the Muppet Fan Community. Discussion boards are filled with people sniping at each other, people are being outright rude, insensitive, nasty, lacking any compassion for others; people are trolling Steve’s blog taking delight in his pain and loss. In their grieving process, a lot of people’s worst inner demons are being unleashed. (Or as i call it, “The Frogpiling”).

      I would really expect better from Muppet fans, We are what we are because we fell in love with and were inspired by these creations of Jim Henson’s who infused his projects with his ethics, gentle humor, and worldview. To see so many engage in the worst pettiness, cruelty, insensitivity, callousness – those aren’t things i learned from Henson/Muppets! To quote a famous frog, it would be nice if people could “Be more Tea” – or more to the point “Be More Muppety” (i think i saw that in an avatar somewhere around here someplace…)

      You want to know the height of irony? Seeing posts that are trolling at their worst, devoted to nothing but tearing other people down, being as vicious and harsh and bitter as possible… and they’re written under pen names such as “Fraggle Fan”!!! There are no words!

      But as hard as it to watch this happening, should we really be surprised? We’re at this place because those who are in leadership positions regarding the Muppet brand are engaging in activities that are themselves completely Un-Muppety. When a longtime beloved talent who’s passionate about keeping the essence of The Muppets intact is let go without working harder to reach a more satisfactory middle ground or solution/resolution, that contradicts anything The Muppets taught us about valuing our differences and striving to get along and peacefully co-exist with people we disagree with or who we may find difficult. When a HENSON of all people makes very callous insensitive remarks about a lifelong collaborator and is so willing to throw a former friend under the bus, that goes against our image of what the name “Henson” stands for. Our role models (or at least those tasked with being in charge of them) are themselves behaving as unMuppety as possible … so when their actions shout “All these values, messages, ethics, perspectives, and worldviews that have been at the core of The Muppets for over 60 years don’t actually mean anything”, should any of us then in turn be surprised to see the Muppet fans then in kind reject them in their own interactions? The Leaders of The Muppets set a poor example, thus The Followers of The Muppets mirror that.

      If you are a Muppet fan, i ask you at this time to consider what does The Muppets mean to you? What have you learned from them? Are you following those life lessons while you’re processing through all the pain and loss from recent events?

      If you are a Muppet leader – someone who in some capacity or another represents the brand to others, whether it be a member of the creative team, someone involved with promoting their legacy, or someone who actually makes decisions regarding the franchise, i call on you to take stock of your own place in the grand scheme of things. Are you setting an example congruent with what the Muppet brand and name represents? If not, what can you do to fix that?”

      (I then followed this up by posting a the video of The Muppets singing “Why Can’t We Be Friends” from the John Denver episode of The Muppet Show as a “reminder of Why Muppets Matter. This is one of my all time favorite Muppet pieces as just about everything The Muppets are about is found here. A lot of people could benefit from Remembering moments like these. (Plus i just love seeing Crazy Harry as part of a kickline.)”)

      A final thought: part of the problem is that people have a tendency (human nature) to be on TeamSteve or TeamDisney. When it comes down to it, this is most likely a complex situation where no one is 100% in the right (or 100% wrong) and the ultimate truth as is often the case is somewhere in the middle. I think it’s great Steve has been here to share his thoughts, perspectives, and insights directly with us to understand his experiences is the matter. By and large i feel he’s conducted himself with eloquence and grace. His thoughts and explanations are out there to digest and each person can decide to take from it what they will. You may agree with most of it; you may disagree with most of it or find some things to have merit and other things you might not feel the same about. At least he’s being open and using the process of Communication. It is the LACK of communication that’s behind most problems in the world.

      I don’t define myself as either TeamSteve (though i largely support him) nor TeamDisney. I’m TeamBoth/Team Muppets. I want both parties to succeed and what The Muppets to thrive despite what turmoil/politics they might be caught in the middle of. I’m reaching out to various Disney execs expressing dismay over the situation but it comes from a place of wishing all parties involved can open up the channels of communication to find a better resolution that benefits everyone INCLUDING AND ESPECIALLY THE FANS (the lovers, the dreamers, and cheese) themselves. I don’t outright demand that Steve is brought back , rather i ask that the channels of communication is reopened between Steve and Disney – that two try harder to work together and understand each other and then go from there rather than shut the door and lock him out. That’s what The Muppets are all about – wildly different beings often very different from each other coexisting and finding ways to get along despite ideological, cultural and personal differences. If those in charge of heading The Muppets at Disney can’t follow and display the values associated with the brand they’re entrusted with looking over, then perhaps they are the ones who need to be replaced rather than Steve.

      Being TeamMuppet means wanting wants best for everyone involved. Steve, Henson, Disney, the characters, the fans, the corporation, the executives, the bean counters, the bean eaters, the Bean Bunnys, EVERYONE!

      1. This. Oh, THIS!!! You had me at, “When a HENSON of all people…”

        I’ve seen a lot of good posts and blogs, but you capture the outrage I feel perfectly.

        Many of us are behaving in ways that are not consistent with Jim’s vision and the life lessons we learned from Jim and the Muppets.

        And yes, I feel the Henson family and Disney have let us down in both big and small ways. It’s hard to articulate that without veering into, “They are all poopyheads” territory.

        Thank you, d. w., for putting my feelings into words. Well done!

  5. Hi Steve,

    Kermit and the gang mean more to me than that which could possibly be described, but here I’ll do my best ok.

    I always did and will continue to see Kermit as being real, he is real, years ago when I was a small child I saw in the back of the “Look In” annual a picture from the Making of the Muppet Show, there was the mock up of the red curtains, Kermit and this bearded fellow operating him – I thought to myself “Wow where’s Kermits legs? Who is that man?” later on when I grew up I realised it was really the first time I glimpsed what Jim Henson looked like and that photo right there showcased the Magick.

    A few years later I had gone to hospital – there were a few tests they needed to carry out and on the children’s ward there was a Kermit the Frog doll that someone had kindly donated, I took a shine to him straight away and instantly fell in Love, from what I can recall the tests saw the doctor having to pencil something on my forehead, I just remember that I had Kermit with me, he was there and was with me at that moment, just before I left the hospital the Ward sister in an uncharacteristic move allowed me to take Kermit, that he who had been donated was thus gifted to a small child who had been through some arduous tests.

    Admittedly over thirty years or so later I still have the same Kermit but he’s not in the same shape he was but never the less it’s still him.

    Guess what I’m saying here is that what’s happened recently has been harrowing beyond words, and reminds me of a sci fi comedy over here called Red Dwarf, a few years back there was an episode which involved a certain WELL KNOWN historical/religious character, in one scene there was a joke about the repercussions of their actions:

    “What about Christmas? We’ve killed Wallace and Gromit!”

    And the way this horrid debacle has played out with you (Steve) and of course Kermit and the gang it’s like – and now there are tears in my eyes whilst typing this – THEY are doing the same to everyone’s beloved Frog, this can’t and shouldn’t be happening, everyone who’s posted on here all grew up with the Muppets and I can’t bear (geddit bear wocka wocka) seeing this all transpire.

    The other day I went to a Comic Con over here in London and for the whole time I made sure Kermit was part of it too and had him attached to my backpack

    https://twitter.com/KingRichard76/status/891201693312065536

    Come 24th December I’ll be watching the Muppets Christmas Carol and hoping the Magick is returned and that no more will Kermit be treated in such a foul way.

    Signed, the Lovers, the Dreamers and me.

    The Very Best of Good Energies to you Steve

    Love Richard 🙏

  6. Love that you have now professionally surpassed Frank! 😉

    Keep up the good work!

    I don’t think you or Frank are jerks, and in my opinion any Muppets fan that says so does not understand nature of the Muppets.

  7. WOW!!!

    Steve, I’m overwhelmed. If I made your day, you just made my ENTIRE LIFE!!! 😀 😀 😀 😀

    Thank you so much for the acknowledgment, and if I was able to make your day a little brighter with my words, it’s quite literally the least I can do for you in exchange for the laughter and tears and happiness and comfort you’ve given me over the years.

    I except your charge with humility and honor. I’ll get to work soon drafting e-mail/letters to the Disney execs.

    ( 😀 😀 😀 😀 :D)

  8. Hey Steve! Wow, this is by far one of the best posts you’ve written. I’m a Muppets fan and especially loved Muppets Tonight. That was a good show and much better than that new ABC show from two years ago. Do you have a favorite guest star that you’ve worked with? Truth be told, I never cared for any of these Muppet fan sites…too many crazies and weirdos.

    1. Muppets Tonight, Sandra Bullock, or Garth Brooks, or Prince…but then, there was also Don Rickles…

      The Muppet Show, the Star Wars cast, Roy and Dale, Alice Cooper…so many wonderful folks!

      1. I LOVE the Garth Brooks episode! I’ll never forget it because it referenced both “Fiddler on the Roof” and “The King and I,” and coincidentally, at the time that it aired, I was involved in a production of “Fiddler on the Roof” at my high school, and my younger brother had just finished playing the role of Louis in a college production of “The King and I”.

        Say, Steve, that reminds me: three years ago you (Kermit) were promoting “A Capitol Fourth” with Tom Bergeron by giving satellite interviews to various local news shows, and you did one for a news station in Omaha, NE. I was excited to see it because I live in Sioux Falls, SD–a couple hours north of there. You mentioned the zoo in Omaha, and I was very impressed that you called it by its proper name (the Henry Doorly Zoo). So I’ve wondered ever since then, have you been to the zoo in Omaha, or did you research that beforehand, or how did that come about?

  9. Steve, can you respond to the accusations that you blackballed young aspiring puppeteers? Would be interesting your hear your take on that.

    1. black·ball [verb]
      reject (someone, usually a candidate applying to become a member of a private club), typically by means of a secret ballot.

      I would think this relates to Steve’s standing true to Jim Henson’s legacy and opposing the idea of having a fake “Kermit” on every cruise.

      (Just pointing this out because with today’s media it might not be the first meaning that comes to mind).

  10. Hi Steve,

    You da man! Or frog. Or Fraggle. Or rat. Or . . . . stop me before I sound too stupid (oops. Too late, I already did the minute I started typing this). I admire a person who can turn an insult into a compliment.

    Live long and paws-purr,
    Erin T. Aardvark

  11. Fortunatly i never, ever read Tough Pigs or any similar so called Muppets fan sites. Sorry to all involved in them. I usually read the official webpages and blogs, facebook, from Disney and JHC. On those sites i enjoied reading comments from real fans stating before Disney or JHC that no matter what, they will stand for you Steve and for the Muppets integrity. I like to make my voice being heard in those sites, to the the ones i want to reach, but sometimes, like in these last weeks, some of my comments where supressed. But still i will not give up. I am not done. There are several other ways of making my voice heard with Disney and JHC. Disney must accept Jim Henson’s legacy like many fans did and do the right think for the Muppets. They (The Walt Disney Company) have thousands or even millions of small shareholders around the world with voting rights. They can make a difference in this matter. Jim Henson’s sons should embrace also his legacy and treasure it, not only being heirs of his estate. They should know better their father wishes and respect them & also preserving his memory.

  12. I just want to point out no one on Tough Pigs said you were “an even bigger jerk than Frank.” Someone on the forum was quoting a comment they read on Facebook.

      1. Dwayne,it actually does. Sharing a quote (and in this context I believe the quote was shared with a sense of disagreeing with it) is NOT the same as saying something yourself. The folks at Tough Pigs are generally among the more civil I’ve seen online. They may say things you disagree with, but they aren’t name-callers.

      2. The statement,

        “…I popped over to Tough Pigs, something I haven’t been doing as of late, just in time to read that I am now considered to be “an even bigger jerk than Frank…”…”

        is NOT true. No one on Tough Pigs said they think Steve is a bigger jerk than Frank, someone on Tough Pigs read a Facebook comment that expressed this thought.

        1. Heck, people. Steve stated that he went to Tough Pigs and read a sentence there. Exactly as your quoted line says. At what point did he attribute that opinion to the members of Tough Pigs?

          There is too much conflict being caused around here by people extrapolating unintended meanings from what’s written, and then blaming the writer for it. Please, everybody, slow down. Read thoughtfully. Misunderstandings can be avoided.

  13. Mike Quinn already somewhat answered this for me (thanks Mike!), but I was watching Rocky Horror Picture Show the other night and I couldn’t help but remember hearing somewhere that you are a huge fan, Steve. I think it was the commentary for MTI that mentioned you spent the entire time gushing over Tim Curry (who wouldn’t?)

    Do you have a particular favourite song from Rocky Horror, or are you like me and just love the entire soundtrack?

  14. Steve,

    I just love every new entry you write. Don’t let those people call you a jerk.

    Keep fighting the good fight!

  15. “Rocky Horror” used to show every weekend at midnight in downtown Atlanta back in the late 70s. Having attended “Rocky Horror” with Steve and friends during our long-ago high school days, I can attest to his fandom of that particular film. While I maybe attended half a dozen times, as I recall, Steve was much more of a regular. And regarding Steve’s listing Alice Cooper as one of his favorites from The Muppet Show, I also remember that while we were in high school, Steve had fashioned a puppet with a skeleton’s body and Alice Cooper’s face. After being hired by Henson at 19, one of Steve’s biggest thrills was meeting Mr. Cooper on the Muppet Show set.

    My understanding of what makes both Steve and Frank Oz “jerks”–and the reason Steve considers it a compliment (aside from the obvious comparison to Frank Oz) is that they have in common a stubborn dedication to the integrity of the characters of the Muppets, as is evidenced by Mr. Oz’s well-known refusal to perform Muppet character voices on request. I think that Steve is right to consider this designation as a compliment, given the importance of what he is trying to communicate through his posts.

    1. First of all, thank you for responding to my above comment about Rocky Horror!

      Secondly, that is an incredibly insightful way at looking at the whole taking being called a ‘jerk’ as a compliment thing. It certainly makes sense to me now. Along with Steve, Frank really has been adamant about the whole ‘the voice is only worth 10% of the entire character’ thing. If being dedicated to the integrity of the Muppets makes them jerks, then sign me up to be a jerk, too!

      1. Thanks, Marni–
        It’s an actor’s perspective. I teach theater, but back in our high school’s days, I was an actor, and Steve was a puppeteer/rocker/makeup artist/Planet of the Apes freak, as well as being a Rocky Horror nutjob. Among other things, he designed my makeup when I played Puck in “Midsummer Night’s Dream.” In fact, Steve actually taught himself how to make authentic Planet of the Apes makeup and would wear it to school. He was incredibly talent with voices and with characterization. But we could never get him to act on stage. He acted through all of his other endeavors, though–quite clearly. I always found this curious, and charmingly humble. This past year, I had a student who reminded me so much of Steve. I couldn’t get this kid (Ethan, who was a senior) to take a role in a play for the life of me, even though he loved taking acting classes. So I remembered working with Steve when Steve was that age, and I came up with the idea of handing this kid a puppet (we were writing a play about Australian animals). I got our incredibly talented art teacher to fashion a hand-and-rod koala in Victorian garb. I wrote the character as a pompous curmudgeon self-proclaimed novelist who shouts down from a eucalyptus tree and sleeps when he’s not yelling (I called him Sir Byron Kelly). Ethan went on to win the acting award, voted by the audience as their favorite character. I couldn’t have been more proud of him. And I never ever would have thought of this without Steve as the inspiration. As anyone who went to our high school can tell you, he inspired everyone, and if they’re paying attention, he still is.

  16. Steve, I can’t help but think of how hard this has got to be on you, but particularly on Dave, Eric, Bill, Matt, & any other Muppeteers still working under Disney. They have got to be struggling. I’m sure that some are out there wanting to support you, but doing so could get them fired and take another person fighting for the integrity of the Muppets within Disney out of the picture. Your firing shows that one wrong move by any of them could mean a swift exit for them as well 🙁 They have got to be so paranoid about what they say and do now. We have to hope that they are doing what they can to maintain integrity from the inside and perhaps even slowly softening up Disney to allow them to admit their mistake and allow your return. I’m not holding my breath that Disney will see the light any time soon, but one can hope.

    1. That’s been among my thoughts since this whole thing broke: concern for the other Muppet performers; it must be very chilling now knowing that if they say or do the wrong thing, Disney could oust them as well. Especially now that they’ve done it not only once but to the performer playing the Central Character. Once someone does something once, it’s so much easier to do it again. I can’t help but wonder how many “Disney Legends” or such were in reality behind the scenes others who were given the Rat Treatment and given the “honor” as a silencing tactic.

      Matt especially must be nervous…taking on other performers’ characters is by no means a new experience for him, but think of all he must have on his shoulders:

      (1) When Steve made his debut as Kermit, it was not publicly announced at first who the new performer would be. He came back slowly. Matt is taking on the part under complete opposite circumstances – his debut comes after a very public news story; he was revealed as the new Kermit at the same time it was reported Steve was out – a lot of eyes are going to be on his first appearance and being very critical … this will probably be only 20 seconds or less since the Thoughts are largely padding (intro – thought itself – outro – channel plug) yet those 20 or less seconds are going to be highly dissected (no frog pun intended). Probably why it’s been delayed so long now (A sidenote: and really – in the meantime, they don’t have other non-Kermit Thoughts they could be showing in the meantime? They just let new content on their channel come to a grinding halt! How is that good for the brand? A sidenote to the sidenote: When it DOES finally debut, i hope they have the foresight not to follow it up with the Scooter “Um… well that was …different!” channel plug!)

      (2) There’s been so much conflicting info given about what was “wrong” with Steve’s Kermit in the aftermath: that he was too sad, angry, bitter (all things that come down more to the writing than the performance). As Steve has said here repeatedly, most of the things Disney/Henson have cited in the press as flaws were also things Steve also felt was problematic. So one thing, if Matt is given garbage un-Kermity scripts to perform, he’s damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t – he may realize that he’ll get the blame as a performer if the writers/directors/producers are giving him substandard material and could he then later be scapegoated the same way for Failing to Make It Work?

      (3) Kermit is a beautifully complex character who is three dimensional; he’s not perfect and has his moments of sorrow, frustration, anger, sarcasm – and yes that very much includes Jim’s Kermit! It’s those moments when he’s freaking out or scrunching up his face or making an aside to the camera or screaming “WILL YOU GET OUT OF HERE?!” that i love him the most! Now there’s probably going to be a lot of pressure of Matt to ONLY play Happy Kermit. Corporate Icon Kermit. Mickey Mouse Kermit. Prozac Kermit. Kermit who can never no longer have emotions other than happiness or calmness or State of Zen because that was “ooh the bad Steve thing!” (although all that existed way before Steve even joined The Muppets at all). If the scripts don’t make him whitewashed, Matt will feel pressure to play Kermit in a way that Makes The Bosses Happy so he doesn’t get drop-kicked out, thrown under the Electric Mayhem bus (without even any Funions or Tic Tacs) and replaced with Kermit #4. Sorry, but i like my frog with all three dimensions. Warts and all!

      Ever since this started, i’ve stated everywhere that no matter where you stood on the matter, that Matt deserves our full support. Any wishes of fans for Steve to be back is by no means a reflection of Matt’s performances, ability, or talent (and i certainly hope he knows this). All it means is that people recognize the time and the reason is What’s Wrong and not his being chosen to take on the part. Matt has our love and best wishes … but it’s also inevitable that a lot of misdirected anger will unfortunately be flung his way.

        1. I agree with the idea that Mr. Whitmire was used as a scapegoat by Disney for why the recent TV series didn’t work. They wrote the characters extremely poorly for that series and made the Muppets say things that they otherwise would never have said.

  17. Hi, this is Mikey from “Mikey’s Muppet Memorabilia Museum” which I have had online in one form or another since 1997. Sorry for writing a novel here, there was just so much to cover! Firstly, I just had to comment that I think it’s very sad that we are now separating Muppet fans into categories of those who have had the “epiphany” and those who “haven’t”, or those who have “made peace with this” and those who “fight to get Steve back”. This is all sounding as though being a Muppet fan in and of itself is now somehow not good enough! Like, what the hell?! Can we please knock of the self righteous rhetoric. A Muppet fan is a Muppet fan, period. There are no rival camps or ghettos. There are no sub-par fans or gold-standard fans, there are just fans. Can we all please just enjoy the Muppets with each other instead of allowing this unfortunate situation between Steve and Disney to build walls within the Muppet fandom community?

    On that note, I do not know anyone from the Tough Pigs site and am not associated with it in anyway, but I do find it quite hypocritical that some of you, including Mr.Whitmire it seems, are so at ease with throwing your fellow Muppet fans under the bus just because of one person’s rude comment. The folks at Tough Pigs have dedicated hours and years of their time to create a sight dedicated solely to the Muppets, yet they are now somehow the villains in all of this? So what Disney did to Steve isn’t acceptable but it’s okay to do the same to Tough Pigs? Please correct me if I’ve misunderstood, but that was the impression I am left with after reading the post and comments.

    Also, perhaps I should be posting this on the “understudies” page, but none the less, I completely agree with the comments on that page by “Joot” and would also add that after watching the video of the so called fake Muppets, I have to say I was rather impressed with the puppeteers performance. Certainly they were off a little, but it is likely (and please correct me if I’m wrong about this) that those puppeteers were performing those characters for the very first time and only had a few minutes worth of rehearsal, if any, prior to shooting that video. I am a puppeteer myself so I know very well how much talent it takes to pull off a performance as shown in the video. Under the circumstances I think those puppeteers did a rather impressive job. The fact that I think this way does not mean I want Steve to be replaced. Far from it! I’ve already posted my comments about how wrong I think Disney was to let Mr. Whitmire go. In regards to the understudies video I am simply being objective in watching fellow puppeteers perform despite being the picky Muppet fan that I am. Fact is, I know a puppeteer who once auditioned for the Muppets and got far enough through the process that he was allowed to perform as Fozzie Bear during the audition. Even though he was ultimately not selected to go on, that audition remains as one of his proudest moments as a puppeteer. I for one don’t think there is anything wrong with that whatsoever. In fact I think it’s wonderful that he was able to have such an amazing experience. If as a Muppet fan you disagree, then fine, we simply agree to disagree and keep on sharing our enthusiasm for the Muppets together. But to start creating class systems of who is a better fan or a worthy fan, well that is something else altogether and is just nonsense!

    Lastly, I mean no disrespect to Mr. Whitmire, but I find this was an unfair comment: “We knew that the puppeteers who were being offered what seemingly sounded like the opportunity of a lifetime, were in fact going to end up being a part of an effort to mass market the Muppets at the expense of who they are. Big mistake, in my opinion.”

    Being offered the opportunity to perform as one of the characters who inspired you to become a puppeteer in the first place is not “seemingly” the opportunity of a life time, it is! I don’t see any problem with having a highly skilled and trained puppeteer who is gifted with the voice of one of their favourite Muppet characters take on such a role in a scripted and rehearsed show at a theme park or on a cruise ship. This allows for the magic of the Muppets to be shared with more people! Is that not what Jim Henson wanted? It’s not unlike the way Sweetums appeared in Muppet Vision 3D. Did Jim Henson have a problem with random performers filling in as Sweetums to a pre-recorded voice track? I don’t know? But it must have been part of the plan when creating the film since Sweetums enters on cue from the events on screen. Frankly as a Muppet fan, seeing “the real” Sweetums was what made the whole experience to the Muppet Vision 3D attraction so magical in my opinion. I knew it wasn’t the real Sweetums from the Muppet Show and that Richard Hunt wasn’t inside performing him, but in my mind but Mr. Hunt’s spirit was there in the theatre simply because it was his character that was being kept alive in this presentation. So in my view, the more opportunities that the Muppets can be shared with fans, the merrier. Obviously there needs to be one leading performer per character in order to keep continuity, I wholeheartedly agree with that, but I don’t think it is right to limit the amount of joy that the Muppets can bring to others and to the world by not supporting understudies who would perform such events. To that I also want to add that doing a production with understudies for a theme park or a cruise ship is far different than allowing the Colbert show to use Kermit. That was wrong and disrespectful to Jim Henson. Disney would never have let Colbert do the same with Mickey Mouse! They should be ashamed of themselves for allowing Kermit to be treated that way.

    Just sharing my two cents.

    1. Mikey, I agree with much of what you are saying and appreciate your call to unity for Muppet fandom. Just wanted to point out that the “Kermit” appearing on Colbert is not Disney’s Kermit. I believe it is a puppet made and performed by Rick Lyon, and his performance on Colbert is meant to be satire, not sanctioned. But Disney might be within their rights to ask them to stop.

      1. Hi Carolyn
        If that’s the case and Disney didn’t authorise the Colbert Kermit skits, this is good news! Shame on the puppeteer though, who ever it was, and the Colbert show for being disrespectful to Kermit and Jim Henson! If I’m not mistaken Mr. Whitmire had previously been a guest on the Colbert show performing Kermit, which makes it even more disrespectful for the Colbert show to have done the “fake Kermit” skits. Not a very nice thing to do to a former guest of your show.

        1. I have only seen two skits and I didn’t feel they were meant to be taken as bashing Kermit or Steve. They were making fun of Trump like they always do and perhaps making fun of Disney as well. But they weren’t the funniest things, either. I guess in a way it was nice to see the mainstream media cared about Kermit and Steve enough to mock the situation.

    2. Mike, i hope your Muppet Memorabilia Museum is still up. I would love to check it online since i am a fan and love memorabilia. About fans, i guess you are just making a distinction of Muppet fans who want the Muppets integrity with someone as Steve, and the Muppet fans who don’t care of who will give them the Muppets characters joy you spoke. It’ not a limit to joy having someone as Steve giving us a “living” Kermit. The amount of joy is surely way higher than the one multiple performers could give us, i think. I compare this as having multiple actors for the same role. If someone builds a character to perform, it’s not possible having several interpretations of the same character at the same time. Like Jim Henson defended, that will compromise the character’s believability.

      1. Hi Julia
        Yes my blog is still online. I don’t know if it’s inappropriate etiquette to post a link in the comments on someone else’s blog, so if it is I do apologise… if that’s the case then please delete this post. Here is the address: http://mikeysmuppetmemorabiliamuseum.blogspot.ca/

        As for the multiple performers thing. I wasn’t making any distinctions between fans. I think it goes without saying that all fans want the Muppet characters to maintain their integrity and be performed consistently no mater who the puppeteer is. As a puppeteer I wouldn’t like someone else performing my characters, but the bigger picture, I think, is that by having more puppeteers doing the characters the Muppets would be bringing more joy to the world (and with the state of things today we certainly could use more joy!). That being said, I don’t think it would be appropriate at all to have multiple performers for the main productions, such as movies or TV appearances, because that’s where you would get into continuity issues and it would certainly diminish the quality of the character. But I have no problem with multiple performers in cases such as theme parks or cruise ships because those are scripted and rehearsed productions, and the puppeteers would have to be quite talented to be selected to do the characters in the first place. As such, there would be little chance something would be out of character that would diminish the Muppets integrity, in my humble opinion. Also, I don’t think people expect theme park shows to present the original performers anyway, but to see the original puppets in action would be quite remarkable, such as seeing Sweetums at Muppet Vision 3D. Gosh, this is turning into another novel! I’d better stop! 🙂 Sorry about being so long winded, I can’t help it!!! 🙂

    3. Ok, think Elvis. Or rather Elvis impersonators. Elvises of all heights, weights, voices and genders.

      It is GREAT to have your own Elvis at your party, hall or cruise — an Elvis you can hug and take a selfie with — as long as you can buy and listen to real Elvis performances.

      However — STARTING THE FRANCHISE WITH FIRING THE ORIGINAL ELVIS IS JUST PLAIN WRONG.

      1. Hello Muppet Fan since 70s
        I don’t know why you’re “yelling” at me in caps since I stated the same thing in my post (third paragraph about the middle: “I’ve already posted my comments about how wrong I think Disney was to let Mr. Whitmire go.”), therefore we are both in agreement on that point. But I’ll say it again none the less, it was completely wrong and unforgivable for Disney to fire Mr. Whitmire!

        As for Elvis, do you really think puppeteering a Muppet character to sound and act as identical as possible to the original is the same thing as doing an Elvis impersonation? If so I would respectfully disagree with you there, as the two are not even close to being comparable. The puppetry alone would require a significant amount of skill and talent, and that’s before you even add the voice and character. This was one of the points I was attempting to make. Any puppeteer who was good enough to get all the way through the audition process to get chosen for such a role would have to be an exceptionally gifted puppeteer. They wouldn’t be just any joe who pretends to be Elvis at birthday parties.

        1. Mike, i do agree with you on all points – i only wish the executives responsible could see it in the same light, hence the shouting. What i meant with Elvis impersonators example is to show one more time that even with using multiple performers… even if allow for many other IFs… the decision to remove Steve is still WRONG on every count (oops, sorry for caps again 🙂 )

      2. Just to be clear, though, Steve’s firing was not because of the whole multiple Ketmits idea. From his own accounts it sounds like that idea was buried like a decade ago. Plus he wasn’t the original Kermit. So by your comparison wouldn’t Steve just be the original Elvis impersonator?

        1. Hello Lousie
          Well, I wasn’t going to go there, but yes I agree with you. Though to be clear, Mr. Whitmire is one of those exceptionally gifted puppeteers. The whole Elvis impersonator thing is way, way beneath his skill and level of performance, so it’s a poor analogy in my opinion. Maybe impersonating Lambchop or Charlie McCarthy would be a better analogy than Elvis?

          Gosh, Johnny Depp also came up at one point somewhere. The thing with that is Johnny Depp isn’t made out of fleece! So of course you can’t replace Johnny Depp. A puppeteer isn’t replaceable either, but their characters can and should live on if they make so many people all over the world happy. If that means multiple performers then so be it. That the characters can live on by passing them on to another skilled puppeteer is part of the magic of puppetry. Again, this is just my humble opinion.

        2. No. Not “impersonator”. Maybe in somebody’s mind, but never for the most people who love and know the Muppets. Muppets are first and foremost the aspects of muppeteer personality, and then of course the immense skill. You just have to have it inside to make the character feel alive, not a cardboard copy. Steve has amply proven to us by all his many years of service that he deserves the role. We had been lucky all these years. He really IS the Kermit we know and love. No matter if copies would roam wide or not 🙂

  18. I do not think you and frank are jerks, you are just saying what a lot of fans are. Frankly the fans that do not agree with you and Frank I think mybe to young to remember the Muppets before Disney. By the way I once found a Rizzo stuff animal, and I had to get it. It was the first time I ever saw a stuffed Rizzo.

      1. I’d be glad to get anything. Honestly, considering how valuable Disney claim the Muppets are to them, none of The Disney Stores in the UK that I’ve been in over the last few years sell any Muppet merchandise… not even when Muppets Most Wanted was released.

        1. There’s nothing in the UK except the odd tour of the set and the furchester live at alton towers. I’d love our fraggle rock tapes found and released.

  19. Steve,

    Mary Arlene, expresses my sentiments as well. For us Kermit is alive. I do not think we are alone in this way of thinking.

    I have been remembering moments from my past experiences, about how when I’m at a theme park, I mostly ignore the performances of those in puppet like costumes, knowing they are cloned and performed by multiple people from day to day. They often sing and dance to a voice over tape, and seldom live up to the reputation of the originals they represent.

    Even the Disney daily parades are a disappointment to me. By the way, the children of today are more astute than we were long ago, and they are not buying it. They know what their favorite characters are supposed to look, sound and act like.

    How could I think of you as a Jerk, Steve? This would be like thinking Kermit is a Jerk, and Miss Piggy too, if the Frank you mean is Frank Oz. Keep fighting for Kermit’s rights.

    If only those who control the purse strings had an epiphany too. They would find a new way of seeing through your seasoned and wise perspective.

    Love To All The Muppets
    Anne Terri

    1. “If only those who control the purse strings had an epiphany too.”

      Or in other words…the moral of the story is:

      “Purse string pullers and puppet string pullers need to pull together”

      1. Yes, d.w. mckim. I seldom interact here with all the thoughts expressed, for there are some which cut or rip the strings apart, after they’ve been so carefully built in the past.

        Time to find a truce and a mutual agreement so that the Muppet Legacy lives, and in a way that continues to bring the magic. Above I watched Steve performing Kermit with a small child, who Kermit named ‘Rainbow’. Thank you Tommy R.Donovan for posting this. This is the old magic, let it continue in Peace.

  20. Hi Steve I just wanted to say that I for one am glad that you and Frank are considered jerks by some because you aren’t afraid to take a stand on the Muppets and speak up when they aren’t being true to the characters. I wouldn’t call you jerks though I would call you heros. Also I want to thank you for this blog, and how you apparently take time to read the comments. It makes me feel honored to be allowed to post a comment you will read. So thank you for every thing, I will continue to read as long as you post.
    Ps. I have looked at some of those posts at tough pigs, and they seem to be the real jerks.

  21. I started trying to write something on this topic a few days ago and didn’t finish it. Anyway it’s probably a good thing that this post came out first, because it clarified some things I was wondering about and has helped me to focus my thoughts better.

    You’ve been insisting from the beginning that the central issue at stake is the integrity of the Muppets’ spirit and characters, not your own fate, and that this should be the focus and concern of all fans. You’ve convinced me that you believe it and I think it’s a remarkably selfless conviction. If I understand, your aim now is to help all of us to a point where we believe the same thing and feel compelled to take the same actions as you. It would indeed be cool if you could share your memories with us so that we caught the fervour of essential Muppet purity to the obliteration of all else. But it can’t be done, and I think there is another reason why our viewpoints are destined to differ.

    I could make a list of lessons I’ve learned about humanity over these past weeks, but one of the clearest is that humans are utterly incapable of *not* forming opinions on things they care about. For the discerning fans who simultaneously see the Muppet character and the skilled performer giving it life, then, there are two things to care about. And as they recognise that at the end of the day the Muppet is a piece of fabric and the “character” only exists in their minds due to the talent of the real person underneath, then it’s the performer, not the character, who inevitably ends up getting the bigger share of the love.

    This of course explains why there has been such an avalanche of emotional reactions directed squarely at you, your dismissal, whether it was deserved or undeserved, the question of whether you’re a nice person or an obsessive egomaniac and how we all feel about that and what your co-workers’ opinions of you are etc. etc. I can’t imagine any of this is news to you and I don’t know why I’m trying to explain it here, except that I’ve just spent a traumatic few weeks trying to figure it all out myself. I guess this is my conclusion:

    On the one hand I think you’re right to tell us to shift focus to the struggle for the Muppets’ future. In fact I think my earlier statement about things not being my business, which you addressed so kindly two posts back, was on one level actually trying to speak to this. There are vast quantities of stuff written all over this blog and elsewhere, both good and bad, that simply reflect people’s judgements of you that are based on other people’s judgements and anonymous hearsay and rumours and speculation fuelled by emotions running on overload – none of which is fair. Your life is not our business. I haven’t been exempt either; I’ve thought and occasionally written things based on my own assumptions about you, sometimes even as I’ve tried to encourage others to stop doing the same. I apologise for that. The internet makes cruelty so easy that most people have long since stopped recognising the truth of what they are doing.

    On the other hand, though, I’m fairly sure that it’s futile for you to ask this of us. Rightly or wrongly, the conversation will always be about you to a large extent. The human tendencies I mentioned above are just too strong. It’s clear too from your posts that this concept of the imperative is something you well understand, and I think it’s the common ground that will help us if we ever seem to be talking at cross-purposes. I see parallels sometimes between the ways you talk about the Muppets and the ways fans talk about you – from the deep root of passion and the offering of advice through to, yes, the way that deep convictions can sometimes make things come out sounding wrong. It’s these things that should enable us all to better understand each other’s motivations.

    In light of all that, the end result for most of us is that when we have our “epiphanies”, like Mary Arlene, in the middle of the sentence will always be that key word she used: “also”. Until we abandon our admiration for the performers of the characters – which would be absurd – our loyalty to the Muppets can never be as undivided as yours is because, at present, you and the Muppets have become separated.

    This brings me to the last thing I want to say for now. It’s not meant to sound like a challenge, but it’s an earnest question. IF the worst happens and that separation is never mended, and Disney never let you near a Muppet again… what will ultimately happen? That choice over the endless emotional cycle must be faced again from an outside position instead of an inside one, and every fan who follows you down the campaign road must face it too. For now, there is plenty of support for the cause. But the impression that’s worrying me (and some others too, based on their comments) is that you might tell us you consider the battle worth fighting for the rest of your life. Most of us will probably answer that we can’t afford to spend our lives the same way, and you’ll say you accept that and you understand. But the other side of our fandom – the part directed at you – will make us sad for your choice, because eventually our roads will diverge. And then we will have lost both: your Muppet ideals and you. I can’t bear the thought of that. Can you give us some assurance that we will be able to keep at least one or the other? That if you consider the Muppets really are doomed to go down, you’ll call time before it’s too late and stop yourself going down with them? That stuff I said on Monday about “Acceptance” was also meant on multiple levels… Might a time ever come when you could go on sharing the past with us while being at peace with the future?

    1. J.S., as a Muppet fan i can tell you: if one day, for some reason, Steve decided to give up, i would not give up. 🐸Kermit & all the Muppets integrity & Jim Henson legacy must be preserved. Things will not fall into place only by themselfes without doing nothing. Obviously the 🐸Kermit i still want, the living green frog i love since i can remember, is incarnated by Steve, the best Jim Henson successor.

      1. I think “giving up” is not quite how I think of it. Perhaps I’m making a distinction where there is none, but if a person is terminally ill and the doctor says no further treatment will help, would stopping the treatment count as “giving up”? Or just acknowledging what will be? Nobody expects to live forever, but that’s not usually because they gave up hope of living forever at some point.

        When you say the legacy “must be preserved” you mean that it’s unthinkable for it not to be preserved – not that it’s inevitable that it will be preserved. Like it or not, the fate of that legacy is now in the hands of others. It seems the best we can all do at this point is try to influence the people with the actual power. There is a possible future in which the Muppets lose their way forever despite the combined efforts of Steve and every other person who fights against it, no matter how long and hard. The question for everyone is IF this occurs, what will you sacrifice in terms of time, money, reputation, personal happiness, etc., to keep on fighting without success? And for how long? Will it be worthwhile for no result? Answers might not be necessary today or tomorrow. But one day…

        It’s only a worst case scenario. Worrying over worst case scenarios is one of my bad mental habits… I should also mention that thing above was written over a LONG session after a week of very poor sleep. It was very late (again) and when I started on the last paragraph, I had no idea where it was going to end. The fear turned up suddenly about halfway through. I finished in a darker place than I was expecting and bared a little more soul than I meant to. But I think (I hope!) it was still worth asking the question.

        1. J.S., In your example: a terminally ill person stopping the treatment could count as giving up. In my opinion could in certains ways count as giving up, but it`s a personal decision. Sometimes an even slight possibility of having some faith in another medical opinion or alternative treatment can make all the difference. We all have learned about miracles in the medicine field and most of them happen with those who try or don´t give up.
          About Jim Henson`s legacy & Muppets integrity, yes i believe they must be preserved, at all cust. And no i don`t believe they are only in the hands of others. Others meaning at this point Disney, know and are aware that the Muppets only exist, like many other characters, for & because of the people who loved them, the fans.
          You see, i`ve always loved the Muppets, i`m 43, so for some time now. But the event (sad one) that maked me love for live the Muppets happened in the year Jim Henson left us.
          My father died on May 6, and Jim Henson on May 16 of the same year. By the time of Jim`s death i`ve learned also from the news that Jim`s birthday was on the same day as mine September 24. When i watched the Tribute to Jim Henson Muppet Show, i realized that it was not only a mourning show it was also a celebration of his life.
          Muppets being aware in a funny moment of the guys bellow them moving each time they move, missing Jim that used to be also down there, and then in the end of the show the appearance of Kermit for the first time with Steve Whitmire i think, showing us that everything will be alright. Kermit was the key, if he didn`t appeared, Jim was gone forever.
          That was the moment the Muppets became also mine for life. You can call me crazy, but i sincerely believe as they where missing Jim, they where going through something similar as me.
          Finding confort with them and a reason to move on with your life doesn´t sound crazy to me.
          About your other question, my answer is yes, if necessary i will sacrify my time, my short money. Don`t really care about reputation when defending something i truely believe. My personal happiness will only be sacrificed in this matter if the Muppets loose their way forever despite the combined efforts of Steve and every other person as you said.
          Each person have it´s own thoughts about this, and feel it in different ways, but for me as i told you, is so much more.
          And also yes, everything is worthwhile even if there`s no final result. As someone very wise once said, you can only regret the things you haven’t done. Because if you don`t do something there´s no chance or possibility for things to change.

  22. Mr. Whitmire,

    If being considerate of The Muppets and their needs means being called ‘a jerk’, then Mr. Henson must’ve been the best jerk in the whole entertainment industry.

    Good.

    To Jim, thank you. To you and Mr. Oz, don’t ever change 🙂

    Lucy

  23. With all due respect, that ToughPigs quote was taken out of context. He was quoting someone on Facebook, and nowhere implied that he agreed with it, in fact I got the sense he disagreed. And there are several posts after that saying that you and Frank are in fact nice.

  24. The Muppets have been a constant in my life, almost from the very beginning.. first with Sesame Street, then the Muppet Show, Fraggle Rock and the movies and onwards… my husband even jokes to this day that he won me in a muppet trivia contest.. lol (it was fraggle trivia, actually, and the prize was our first phone call…)
    I’ve had the cast memorized and, at one time, could identify everyone by voice alone (sadly, I can’t say that anymore… there have been too many changes over the years for me to be able to get everyone anymore..)
    Recently, my husband and I decided to binge on some muppety tv viewing.. we started with the most recent The Muppets program… which, had a few wonderful moments and some stand out characters (Uncle Deadly was far and away the highlight of that series for us….) but it just felt… lacking.. most of the core characters were off (Piggy, Kermit and Fozzie were really just not themselves, but neither were a lot of the others…)
    anyway, then we started in on Muppets Tonight… and.. oh my gosh, there was such a HUGE difference in the tone, the spirit, the energy.. we were back to the characters being true to themselves in a format that worked for them, and not having the core 3 as the focus really allowed so many of the others to grow and blossom.. and i realized, as we were watching this, that, yes, Muppets Tonight and Muppets from Space were really the last _good_ muppet programs/movies we had.. (ok, and Kermit’s Swamp Years was good, too…) and I realized how long ago those actually were and it just made me sad… I love these characters.. they have been there for me through some hard times and they have always been one of the best ways to draw me out of any sort of funk, but I am starting to realize that the characters I love may no longer exist.. this just breaks my heart and I know this is not what Jim would have wanted when he was first considering partnering with Disney.. how could it be??
    I will continue to love my Muppet friends, and watch all the old programs.. and I will hope that something miraculous happens over at Disney and that maybe one day they will really understand what they are destroying and make changes, but it is getting harder and harder to see today’s muppets as at all related to the characters of the past and i am just heart broken over that.

  25. I’m sorry if your experiences are indicating that the Muppet community, especially those on Tough Pigs, are not supporting you. You certainly deserve support in light of these events.

    I will freely admit to not being very active in this online community but since this incident began, I have tried to reach out more and gain a better understanding of the Muppet community. Too little, too late perhaps. All that said, those fans I do know have expressed nothing but support and well wishes towards you, and some are willing to happily boycott future Muppet productions if it would help your cause. I also have an immense respect for Frank Oz, and while many seem disappointed by his lack of current involvement, he still seems to maintain support where I looked. I do know there are those who are upset with Matt Vogel in light of these events, and even some who simply do not consider him a good muppeteer in general.

    I do hope that those claiming that the highly disrespectful comment about you and Mr. Oz has been taken out of context are correct. It would be a shame if the community was truly so toxic.

    I am aware that my circle, my “sampling size”, is small, and that I may simply only be visiting in the right/wrong places, but I hope to believe those fans who are not being supportive towards you right now are a small and potentially vocal minority. I hope.

  26. Dear Steve,
    Tough Pigs….ughhhh….
    I’m ashamed that so many “fans” over there refuse to speak out and support you( never mind those who buy into Disney and the Henson’s story). I have weighed in on many conversations and been called names for expressing disappointment towards Matt Vogel for taking on Kermit.
    It seems to me many fans are afraid of speaking up, not because they particularly agree with Disney, rather they are scared of offending Matt personally. Do you have any thoughts on this matter?

    1. You seem to be under the impression that supporting Steve and supporting Matt are polar opposites. Like his taking on the role is some kind of betrayal.

      Sorry, but i strongly disagree. Disney made their choice (wrong though it may be) and someone has to play Kermit. Matt is incredibly gifted and i have no doubt whatsoever in his talent or ability – the ONLY reservation i have about him being chosen is that in between wide range of other characters he currently performs, that lessens the number of characters Kermit can regularly interact with. If Matt said no, they’d have to keep looking for someone to say yes…someone with less talent and ability who quite frankly isn’t yet fully ready for the undertaking and would be a poor fit. That does nothing but just bring the entire brand down.

      I largely support Steve. I think Disney was wrong to let him go so quickly without working harder at trying to mediate a better resolution. I am however neither #TeamSteve or #TeamDisney – i’m #TeamMuppet…meaning i want what’s best for The Muppets, not only the brand itself but the remaining longtime vets (not even just the performers, but writers, builders, technical staff, etc), AND the executives in charge of them AND Steve.

      Matt’s an excellent choice if Kermit has to be replaced. It’s just that the question looms as does he REALLY need to replaced. I’ve posted elsewhere as to the huge amount of pressure that will be on him.

      Being an understudy, a recast, a replacement, what have you is not an easy job. You go through hell if you put in all the time and preparation and never have to go on and you go through hell if you do. I think most fans regardless on what “side” they fall on are more than happy to be supportive of Matt.

      Matt’s going to be the target of a lot of misplaced anger – but he’s not the villain in this. The whole circumstances leading to Steve’s dismissal was neither his fault nor his decision. Perhaps you may wish to direct a little more of such feelings towards those who actually are responsible.

  27. Why should anyone be trying to offend Matt, this is absurd. Do you really think he was given any more choice in the matter than Steve?

  28. Frank is unabashedly outspoken, but I wouldn’t term that as being a jerk.

    Jerk you are not, Steve. Yet I can see the same admirable qualities Frank possesses in you: principled, steadfast, creative, detail-oriented, with a brilliant streak of genius.

    That said, I hope I can in the future make your day, …or month, …or even year. I am still writing emails and letters to Disney, still trying to give Muppet fans of all levels that will listen that crucial epiphany. So many just don’t understand that there’s far much more at stake than just a new voice for Kermit The Frog, and it feels sometimes like I am talking to the walls, but when I’m close to giving up I remember that you haven’t quit fighting and I shouldn’t either. After all, you have had to fight so much longer and with far more to lose… and still, even while down, you swing your sword with everything you’ve got. I want to be like that. We all should emulate you in this war, because what hangs in the balance is precious beyond imagining.

  29. As others have said: If you do a closer reading of that Toughpigs thread, you’ll see that the original post was quoting something they read in an unrelated Facebook group, and that the discussion went on to proclaim that neither you or Frank were jerks. I also chimed in, having interviewed Oz for my biography of Richard Hunt, and found him to be not at all a jerk. I know it’s a tense time, but this post seems unnecessarily divisive and looking for opposition in a place where it is, in fact, not to be found.

    1. We’re still rehashing this, then? *sigh* Well, okay…

      What Steve actually SAID was that, while on the ToughPigs site, he read that somebody–not necessarily somebody associated with ToughPigs, but some RANDOM person on the Internet–called him “an even bigger jerk than Frank.” That’s ALL he said.

      Now, I realize that what Steve read was posted on the forum and not the main site. However, as I’m sure you know, ToughPigs links to and reports on news articles all the time. Heck, that’s where I found out that Steve had been dismissed from the Muppets. If I had reported on my blog that I had read on ToughPigs that Steve had been dismissed, would ToughPigs readers be pounding down my door telling me that ToughPigs didn’t fire him, Disney did? That I was being inaccurate or disingenuous or taking things out of context?

      Was Steve’s wording a little ambiguous? Yes. Could he have been a little more precise in explaining where the information was coming from? Yes. Would it have been helpful if he had posted a link to what he was reading? Absolutely. What he said has been misconstrued by a lot of people, and that’s unfortunate. On the other hand, it’s not entirely fair to condemn him for words that he did not, in fact, say.

      Sorry if I come across as a little snippy. I mean no disrespect. I’m just tired of fighting with people over every little thing, especially when some of those things do not actually exist.

      1. I’m a long-time Tough Pigs reader and forum member, and it was quite unpleasant to read all the comments here bashing our entire group. I don’t know what Steve intended by posting what he did, but the result was his fans coming to his “defense” against the evil Pig Horde. So I think it is important to clarify.

        1. I agree, and that’s exactly what I am trying to do here: clarify.

          I guess my point is that communication is a two-way street. We all have responsibilities, not only as writers, but as readers and responders. Whether reading, writing, or responding, we should all–ALL of us–be mindful of those responsibilities.

        2. Let’s face it, it’s been horrendously unpleasant to read all the comments bashing everyone everywhere.

          The people who got defensive about implications against Tough Pigs members, read more into Steve’s words than what was actually there.

          The people here who said nasty things about Tough Pigs should have known better than to attack the forum without actually reading it.

          When I read the original statement, I just laughed. It never occurred to me to wonder who said it. For all I knew it could have been a longtime TP member, a random troll who signed up just to make that post, or a quote from elsewhere. You can criticise Steve for not being clearer, but in the end it’s usually more profitable to take responsibility for one’s own actions than to change someone else’s. How much less angst would we be seeing if everybody put more effort into reading others’ words carefully, considering them at face value, understanding the intention, and then interpreting them as charitably as possible… all before typing a reply?

          That’s not directed at anyone in this conversation; just a general wish… or dream…

    2. Sorry, are you saying that it is divisive to repost a negative comment from Facebook saying Frank and I are jerks? I laughed when I read it on Tough Pigs, and never presumed it originated from whoever reposted it. I’m not on Facebook, so my access to the comment was Tough Pigs, a blog I have always supported as best I could.

      What’s the status of your biography on Richie?

      S

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