Two actors left one of the Americas’ most popular soap operas after refusing to comply with a vaccination mandate on set.
The cast, Steve Burton and Ingo Rademacher, were part of ABCs General Hospital, a long-running drama set in the fictional town of Port Charles, NY
About one in five American adults has not received a single dose of the coronavirus vaccine.
Mr. Burton and Mr. Rademacher were fierce opponents of a coronavirus vaccine mandate that applied to part of the set where actors work without a mask, known in the industry as Zone A. The mandate went into effect on November 1.
Unfortunately, the general hospital let me go due to the vaccination warrant, Mr Burton, who tested positive for the virus in August and filmed his last episode on October 27. said in an Instagram video Tuesday.
I asked for my medical and religious exemptions and both were denied which you know hurts, he added. But it’s also a question of personal freedom for me. I don’t think anyone should lose their livelihood because of this.
Mr. Rademachers’ departure from the show was released earlier this month. He had also refused to comply with the vaccination mandate of the shows. I will be with you to fight for medical freedom it wrote in an Instagram post.
Mr Rademacher has also been criticized on social media in recent weeks for making comments that critics viewed as transphobic, a suggestion he forcefully denied.
ABC representatives declined to comment on the matter. Publicists for the actors could not be reached for comment on Tuesday evening.
Other Hollywood productions have imposed similar mandates on the set, but there is no universal vaccination requirement for people who work in film and television.
General Hospital has been airing since 1963. Its episodes are filmed weeks before they are aired.
Mr. Rademacher played the character of Jasper Jax Jacks on the show for 25 years. In his latest episode, which aired Monday, the character announced he would be returning to Australia.
I’m a bit of a disagreement with everyone in Port Charles right now, the character said. Some fans interpreted this as a reference to the real tension of the actors with his castmates.
In the same episode, Mr. Burtons character Jason Morgan was caught in a tunnel collapse.
Mr Burton said in his Instagram video on Tuesday that he hoped the shows’ vaccination mandate would be lifted so he could end his career playing Jason Morgan.
And if not, he added, I will enjoy this experience, move on and be eternally grateful.
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