According to reports in Deadline magazine, Steve Whitmire is leaving the Muppets for undisclosed reasons from next week.
Whitmire has been in control of Kermit since the 1990s, following the death of Muppets creator Jim Henson.
His distinguishable nasal voice has become a trademark of the Muppets, so what will Kermit the Frog sound like now?
Deadline also confirmed that puppeteer Matt Vogel – who has previously voiced Kermit’s evil doppelganger Constantine – as Whitmire’s replacement.
Vogel will be making his debut in the next “Muppets Thought of the Week” video, according to Muppets fan site Tough Pigs.
He has been a Muppets puppeteer since the 1990s and took on the role of Constantine in the 2014 film Muppets Most Wanted.
Reactions to the change have been mixed, with fans leaving comments on social media asking for Muppet owners Disney to reveal the reason behind Whitmire’s exit.
“Will you guys ask a reason for this?,” one user wrote to fan site Tough Pigs, which replied “questions have been asked”.
Questions have been asked, and we’ll continue to report on the news as Disney reveals the facts to us.
— ToughPigs (@ToughPigs) July 11, 2017
“This is honestly the most depressing news ive heard all week. but i know matt vogel is a very talented guy and im proud of him for filling,” said another user.
Whitmire had worked on the Muppets since 1978, also voicing Ernie of the Sesame Street double act Bert and Ernie.
He has also portrayed Rizzo the Rat, as well as several Fraggle Rock characters.
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