“Maybe one day, if those mandates are lifted, I can return and end my career as Jason Morgan.”
Another “General Hospital” star is out after refusing to abide by the program’s vaccine mandate.
Steve Burton, who has been on the show to and from since 1991 as Jason Morgan, confirmed his exit Tuesday after weeks of speculation. He was last seen in Monday’s episode – probably filmed before the mandate took effect earlier this month – before a tunnel collapse could possibly claim his life.
“I know there have been a lot of rumors and speculations about me and General Hospital and I would like you to hear it from me personally. Unfortunately, ‘General Hospital’ has let me go because of the vaccine mandate,” Burton shared in an Instagram video on Tuesday.
“I applied for my medical and religious exemptions, and both of these were denied, which hurts, but it’s also about personal freedom for me,” he continued. “I do not think anyone should lose their livelihood over this. But having said that, you know me, I will always be grateful for my time at ‘General Hospital’.” I love it there, I grew up there, I grew up with some of you. I will always be grateful. “
He said he believes “more doors open” when one closes, adding that he is “excited to see what the future brings.” Burton also did not close the door on returning – saying, “Maybe one day, if those mandates are lifted, I can return and end my career as Jason Morgan. That would be an honor.”
“If not, I will take this amazing experience, move on and be eternally grateful,” he concluded, before thanking fans for their support. Burton added that he was not sure if his last episode had been aired yet.
General Hospital Star Ingo Rademacher Out at General Hospital amid transphobic controversy
“I want you to have a great Thanksgiving,” he told fans. “We have so many things to be grateful for, and being grateful is the key.”
TooFab has contacted reps for the show to get a comment. ABC confirmed with Variety that his exit “was due to his failure to comply with the show’s vaccine mandate.”
His exit comes shortly after costar Ingo Rademacher was also ousted for refusing to abide by the show’s mandate requiring vaccines for everyone in Zone 1 – a group of the show’s stars and everyone present on the set once they are unmasked. Rademacher’s exit coincided with transphobic remarks on social media, which were called up by transgender costar Cassandra James and many longtime GH stars, including Maura West, Laura Wright and Nancy Lee Grahn.
The show itself also issued a declaration of solidarity with the trans community after the controversy.
Getty / ABC
General Hospital ‘Stands in Solidarity’ with Trans Community Midt Ingo Rademacher controversy