Emilio Estevez Addresses Rumors He Was Fired By Disney For Being Anti-Vax

Emilio Estevez is speaking out on what happened between him and Disney.

By Faith McKay | Updated

This article is more than 2 years old

Emilio Estevez

Emilio Estevez returned to Disney for season one of their Mighty Ducks revival. Playing Gordon Bombay again was important to him. He’s called it a benchmark role in his career. Despite that, he isn’t returning for season two of Mighty Ducks: Game Changers, which was a shock to many. On November 5, 2021, Deadline ran a report where their sources informed them that the actor’s representatives were in disagreement with Disney over their COVID-19 vaccination requirements. Now, Deadline has a statement from Emilio Estevez, where he clarifies his own point of view on his negotiations with Disney and why he won’t be returning to the Disney+ series.

The actor’s statement is lengthy. In it, Emilio Estevez chronicles his own experiences with COVID-19. He doesn’t deny that vaccine requirements were a part of the back-and-forth he experienced with the studio. However, he says that wasn’t the heart of the issue. He says that ultimately, he isn’t returning to for season two due to creative differences. At the end of the day, he would summarize what happened as “nothing more than a good old fashioned contract dispute”.

In his statement, Emilio Estevez does clarify that he is not anti-vaccinations. He says, “I am anti-bully.” However, while he talks a lot about his lived experience with the pandemic, when it comes to vaccinations, he says almost nothing else. He says that he is very cautious around COVID-19, and that he is taking precautions, he does not disclose whether he is vaccinated himself, though he insists that vaccinations weren’t the most important thing when it came to his decision to not return for the Disney+ series. “My exit from the show was due to a myriad of creative differences – any other narrative is false. To the fans of the franchise – I am as disappointed as you are.”

emilio estevez

When his representatives talked to Deadline for their initial article, they would not say whether Emilio Estevez would comply with the Disney show’s new policy which requires any cast and crew members working within Zone A to be vaccinated against COVID-19, which is in line with how the actor is handling his own statement now. The important thing that he wants people to know is that creative differences were an important part of his contract dispute.

As mentioned above, his statement chronicles his own lived experience with COVID-19, which was harrowing. Emilio Estevez was diagnosed with COVID-19 early in the pandemic, during March 2020. He first became ill in February of 2020, when little was known about the virus spreading globally. The actor then suffered from an as of yet unconfirmed phenomenon known as Long Haul Syndrome, or Long COVID-19. His experience lasted through the summer and fall of 2020, though he didn’t make that information public at the time.

Emilio Estevez shared that while he suffered from Long Haul Syndrome, he was in Vancouver filming on season one of the series, despite his own concerns about whether actors should be considered essential workers during the pandemic. He stresses that he felt cautious about the virus, and now feels that he should have spoken out more about his own experiences with COVID-19.

While Emilio Estevez won’t be returning as Gordon Bombay, the show will go on. Season two is still expected to see other key actors returning for the franchise. Estevez ended his statement wishing the others well with season two.