Another Major Soap Opera Star Has Quit Because Of The Vaccine Mandate

By Doug Norrie | 15 seconds ago

soap opera general hospital

With the debates about vaccines still raging throughout the United States, there has been some fallout in certain productions regarding vaccine mandates on sets of shows. One of those programs that has now had multiple actors leave the cast because of the mandates is the long-running soap opera General Hospital. The show just saw its second big-name leave the production with Steve Burton announcing that he was stepping away. The actor and the show couldn’t reach a resolution over the vaccine mandates and he will no longer be involved with the soap opera. 

Steve Burton took to Instagram on Friday to announce the decision to leave General Hospital. The soap opera star had been with the show for 15 seasons and was one of the program’s mainstays. In his Instagram message, he talked about how he had applied for both medical and religious exemptions around the vaccine mandates, but they were both denied. Burton spoke with general positivity around the situation and reiterated the idea that he was doing this to maintain personal choice over his body. Check out the Instagram video in which Burton details the decision and what happened with him leaving the soap opera:

This is the second cast member General Hospital has walked away in the last couple of weeks because of the vaccine mandate. Apparently, Ingo Rademacher also left when he wasn’t able to comply with the new rules. That move did get some backlash from other members of the cast. It will be interesting to see the reaction to Burton leaving the soap opera under similar conditions. Steve Burton has starred on the daytime program as Jason Morgan from 1991 to 2012 and then reprised the role again starting in 2017. In the interim, he took a role on The Young and the Restless. And in true soap opera fashion, he even played his twin brother for a spell on General Hospital. Never change daytime programming. 

These recent departures from the soap opera because of the vaccine mandates aren’t necessarily isolated incidents. Rockmund Dunbar recently left the primetime series 9-1-1 because of the restrictions. He, like Burton, had applied for religious and medical exemptions but was denied. With the country still somewhat at odds around vaccines, it stands to reason that there could be additional fallout on other productions.  

And another high-profile case of an actor leaving a production was earlier this month when Ice Cube walked off the production for Oh Hell No because of vaccine restrictions on the set. It was earlier reported that Ice Cube walked away from $9 million dollars for that film. It doesn’t look like Steve Burton will be passing up the same amount, but some estimates have him making about $490,000 per year on the soap opera. So this wasn’t some small decision to walk away from General Hospital. 

Even with these higher-profile departures, it’s unlikely a soap opera like General Hospital suffers too much. The daytime show has been running steadily since 1963 and currently holds the Guinness Book of World Records mark for longest soap opera in production.