What follows is a letter that I wrote to Bob Iger on October 19, 2017 and sent via e-mail on October 20, 2017. It is a follow-up to the first letter and therefore quite a bit shorter:
Dear Mr. Iger,
In light of the negative reaction (specifically via Twitter) to Matt Vogel’s recent appearance as Kermit the Frog on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, I am writing to once again encourage you and the executives at the Muppets Studio to reopen negotiations with Steve Whitmire, with the goal of his reinstatement as a Muppet performer. I encourage all of you to come once again to the negotiating table in the spirit of creating a deal “in which both parties try to arrive at a fair settlement and everyone walks away satisfied,” in the words of Jim Henson.
This is not intended as a criticism of Mr. Vogel, whose talent and dedication are well known and deservedly lauded throughout the Muppet fan community. Nevertheless–and with all due respect to Mr. Vogel–assuming the role of Kermit in addition to his other Muppet characters is an unreasonable burden that he should never have been asked to bear–certainly not under circumstances such as these.
If Disney’s and the Muppet Studio’s goal is to expand the appeal of the Muppets beyond the existing fanbase, the negative response from the casual fans to Mr. Vogel’s first mainstream Kermit performance would suggest that dismissing Mr. Whitmire and recasting his characters has been the wrong course of action to take. However, notwithstanding the few performances that Mr. Vogel has given as Kermit, it is still not too late to rectify this potentially costly error and bring Mr. Whitmire back into the Muppet fold.
Once again, I thank you for allowing me a moment of your valuable time.