Steve Burton Out At ‘General Hospital’ Over Covid Vaccine Mandate

Longtime General Hospital cast member Steve Burton is leaving the ABC show due to his refusal to comply with the production’s Covid-19 vaccine mandate.

Burton confirmed his long-rumored departure on Instagram today. “I know there’s been a lot of rumors and speculations about me and General Hospital and I wanted you to hear it from me personally,” he says in the video. “Unfortunately, General Hospital has let me go because of the vaccine mandate.”

A source close to the show confirms that Burton is no longer part of the General Hospital cast due to his failure to comply with the mandate. He filmed his last episode on Oct. 27. 

Burton revealed his Covid-positive status in August when he and GH co-star Bradford Anderson, performing as a comedy and musical duo called Stone Cold and The Jackal, canceled a series of East Coast performance dates.

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Ingo Rademacher's Character Says Goodbye To 'General Hospital': "On The Outs With Everyone In Port Charles Right Now"

With his departure, Burton becomes the second GH cast member to leave the show due to failure to comply with the mandate. Yesterday, weeks after ABC confirmed that Ingo Rademacher had left the production, his character, Jasper “Jax” Jacks, made his onscreen goodbyes, telling another character, “I’m kind of on the outs with everyone in Port Charles right now.”

Burton’s character, Jason Morgan, was declared missing on yesterday’s episode, trapped, apparently, in a tunnel collapse. “I hope you’re staying safe and you come home soon,” said Carly (Laura Wright), leaving a message on Jason’s unanswered phone.

As the mobster Jason Morgan, Burton has been a major player in the GH town of Port Charles for most of the last 30 years. Burton joined General Hospital in 1991 as the wholesome, wealthy scion Jason Quartermaine, a character who underwent a major personality transformation following a car accident in 1995. After emerging from a bout of amnesia, Jason Quartermaine became Jason Morgan, right-hand man to mob boss Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard).

Save for a five-year stint on CBS’ The Young and The Restless from 2013 to 2017, Burton has played the Jason character for three decades, one of the show’s longest-running portrayals. In 2007, Burton played Jason in the primetime GH spin-off General Hospital: Night Shift.

The GH role won Burton the first of his two Daytime Emmy Awards: After winning for playing Jason in 1998, the actor won a Daytime Emmy in 2017 for his Young and The Restless role.

Burton’s other TV credits include Taken and Days of Our Lives. 

Though his anti-vaccine mandate stance has garnered considerable attention, Burton has been spared the level of controversy surrounding Rademacher, whose outspoke stances on the vaccine and transgender issues have angered castmates including Nancy Lee Grahn and transgender actor Cassandra James. Just the day before his recent departure from the set was confirmed, Rademacher wrote an Instagram post widely interpreted as transphobic (he re-posted a photo of Rachel Levine, the U.S. assistant secretary for health and first transgender four-star officer, that was captioned with the word “dude.”) In a subsequent Instagram video, he apologized for the “dude” reference but insisted, “I don’t think it’s okay to call a transgender an empowered woman because where does that leave women?”

Yesterday’s episode marked the first mention of the Rademacher character’s departure.

A post shared by Steve Burton (@1steveburton)

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