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General Hospital': Steve Burton Confirms Exit Due to Vaccine Mandate |  TVLine

On Tuesday, โ€œGeneral Hospitalโ€ star Steve Burton confirmed on Instagram the rampant rumors that he was fired from the long-running ABC soap opera because he would not get vaccinated against COVID-19.

โ€œI wanted you to hear it from me personally.โ€ he said, before launching into anti-vaccine rhetoric. โ€œUnfortunately, โ€˜General Hospitalโ€™ has let me go because of the vaccine mandate. I did apply for my medical and religious exemptions, and both of those were denied. Which, you know, hurts. But this is also about personal freedom to me.โ€

Burton then went on to express gratitude to the show, where heโ€™s played Jason Morgan on and off since 1991, as well as to the fans. He said: โ€œMaybe one day if these mandates are lifted, I can return and finish my career as Jason Morgan. That would be an honor.โ€

General Hospital's Steve Burton Fired Over Vaccine Mandates

On Monday, Variety reported that it appeared that Burton might have been fired from the show because of this issue. The vaccine mandate for Zone A at โ€œGeneral Hospitalโ€ โ€” which comprises those present on set when the actors arenโ€™t wearing masks, and the actors themselves โ€” went into effect on Nov. 1.

Actor Ingo Rademacher, whose Instagram is full of vaccine misinformation and propaganda, loudly refused to comply with the vaccine mandate. His final episode on the show aired Monday.

After Burtonโ€™s post on Instagram, ABC confirmed that his departure was because of his non-compliance with the showโ€™s vaccine mandate.

 

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A post shared by Steve Burton (@1steveburton)

Burtonโ€™s ouster had been rumored in the โ€œGeneral Hospitalโ€ fandom for weeks. He had tested positive for COVID in mid-August, saying heโ€™d been โ€œexposed at work.โ€ During that time, the in-fighting at the show about COVID protocols spilled into the public, and resulted in the vaccine mandate.

Of the four daytime dramas remaining on the networks, โ€œGeneral Hospital,โ€ which is owned by ABC, is the only one that has instituted a vaccine mandate. NBCโ€™s โ€œDays of Our Lives,โ€ and CBSโ€™ โ€œThe Young and the Restlessโ€ and โ€œThe Bold and the Beautifulโ€ continue to rely on testing, social distancing and other CDC-recommended guidelines for their on-set protocols.

Steve Burton fired from General Hospital for not complying with vaccine  mandate | Entertainment | webstercountycitizen.com

Recasting popular characters on soap operas and dead characters coming back to life are endemic to the genre. In the past, the Jason character has been played by other actors, as Burton has pursued other projects. On Fridayโ€™s episode of โ€œGeneral Hospital,โ€ a tunnel collapsed on Jason, which gave even more fuel to fansโ€™ theories that Burton had been fired.

If thereโ€™s ever a post-pandemic world โ€” one brought about by large-scale vaccine compliance โ€” perhaps Burtonโ€™s Jason could emerge from under the pile of rubble that felled him.

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