Dear Dave, Matt, David, Bill, Eric, and Peter:
Recently I used a quotation from Alexander Hamilton to illustrate my thoughts about Disney’s decision to cut ties with Steve Whitmire (which I refer to as the “Schism,” because I am fancy). The quotation that I used is from a revolutionary pamphlet that Hamilton wrote as a teenager with the somewhat clunky title, A Full Vindication of the Measures of Congress:
“In a civil society” Hamilton wrote, “it is the duty of each particular branch to promote not only the good of the whole community, but the good of every other particular branch. If one part endeavors to violate the rights of another, the rest ought to assist in preventing the injury. When they do not but remain neutral, they are deficient in their duty, and may be regarded, in some measure, as accomplices.”
I wanted to let you know that that sentiment was not directed at you in any way. It was directed squarely at the Muppet fans who remain complacent. I want you to know that I don’t consider you to be accomplices in the Schism, nor do I consider you to have been deficient in your duty. I understand and appreciate the difficulty, complexity, and potential volatility of your situation.
Let me use an example from my own past to illustrate my point: A cousin of mine and I once worked for the same company/organization. In the late 00s, between the nationwide economic downturn and financial challenges specific to the company itself, the organization engaged in a brutal bloodbath of lay-offs, and unfortunately, my cousin was one of the ones who got the axe. It was ironic, too, because she had just been promoted a few months prior. And to add insult to injury, the company/organization came up with a painfully Orwellian bit of double-speak to describe the lay-offs; instead of “laying off” or “downsizing,” they called it “right-sizing,” as though the Three Bears were encouraging Goldilocks to seek other avenues for her breaking-and-entering and porridge-eating skills.
Anyway, I was tempted to quit in protest at the unfair way that my cousin had been treated, but ultimately I stayed. And it wasn’t out of loyalty to the company/organization, either. It was merely because I realized that my resigning wouldn’t help my cousin in any way, and it wouldn’t really hurt the company/organization. The only person I’d be hurting was myself (and inconveniencing my parents when I would have had to move back home with them).
So if it was difficult for me to take a principled stance, and to contemplate giving up a job that I hated for the sake of someone that I love, I can appreciate how much more difficult it must have been for you to consider taking a stand and potentially endangering something that you love and have devoted so much of your lives to. Especially since it might well have all been for naught, as Disney would probably have had no qualms about replacing any or all of you.
It’s tempting to think that the fans would never have stood for that, but I never would have believed that so many fans would have accepted Steve’s dismissal so docilely. I essentially have no faith in the fandom’s collective conscience anymore.
But rest assured, I still have faith in you, and I trust you to do what you think is best.
With respect and admiration,
P.S.: Thank you for the above video. I think I see what you were trying to do there.
2 thoughts on “Dear Muppet Performers…”
The Diva, oh yeah. The message is clear. Good letter Mary Arlene.
Wink wink, nudge nudge, say no more. 😉