'General Hospital' Fires Second Cast Member Over Refusal To Get Vaccinated

Actor Steve Burton, who first joined the soap in 1991, said it was "about personal freedom to me."

Actor Steve Burton has been let go from “General Hospital” for failing to comply with its COVID-19 vaccine mandate, just weeks after another cast member, Ingo Rademacher, departed for the same reason.

“I wanted you to hear it from me personally,” Burton said in a video posted on Instagram Tuesday. “Unfortunately, ‘General Hospital’ 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.”

“Well said my friend,” commented Rademacher, whose own Instagram page is full of anti-vaccine misinformation.

Steve Burton, who first joined "General Hospital" 30 years ago, departed the show after refusing to get a COVID-19 vaccine.
Steve Burton, who first joined "General Hospital" 30 years ago, departed the show after refusing to get a COVID-19 vaccine.
Craig Sjodin via Getty Images

ABC confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that Burton was no longer with the daytime soap because he was unable to comply with the vaccine policy. His last day of work was on Oct. 27.

Burton had tested positive for COVID-19 in August, saying he was exposed to it at work. As of Nov. 1, all cast and crew required to be on the “General Hospital” set when actors aren’t wearing masks must be vaccinated, according to Variety.

Burton has played “General Hospital” regular Jason Morgan on and off since 1991. On Friday’s episode, a tunnel collapsed on Jason, fueling viewer theories that the actor had been fired.

“Maybe one day if these mandates are lifted, I can return and finish my career as Jason Morgan,” Burton said in his video.