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General Hospital has parted ways with a second member of its cast over the production’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
Steve Burton said in an Instagram video Tuesday that he’s no longer with the ABC daytime soap because of the mandate. The network confirmed that he has departed after being unable to comply with the vaccine policy; his last day of work on the show was Oct. 27.
Burton is the second GH castmember to leave the long-running series due to its vaccine mandate in recent weeks. Ingo Rademacher‘s last episode aired Monday after he departed over the mandate (and after he was called out by castmates for sharing an anti-transgender meme on social media).
In his Instagram video, Burton says he applied for medical and religious exemptions to vaccination but was denied. He says not complying with the mandate “is about personal freedom for me; I don’t think anyone should lose their livelihood over this.”
“I’ll always be grateful for my time there,” Burton said. “I believe when one door closes, multiple doors open. I’m excited to see what the future brings, and maybe one day when these mandates are lifted I can return and finish my career as Jason Morgan. That would be an honor, and if not, I’m going to take this amazing experience, move forward and be forever grateful.”
Like a host of other productions, General Hospital has mandated COVID-19 vaccinations for all cast and crew who work in Zone A, where actors are unmasked during filming.
Burton joined General Hospital in 1991 and remained a regular for 21 seasons before leaving in 2012. After several years on CBS’ The Young and the Restless, he returned to GH in 2017. He tested positive for COVID-19 in August and said he had been “exposed at work.”
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