Steve Burton has been let go from General Hospital because he refused to comply with the soap opera’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
The actor, who starred on the daytime drama as the character of Jason Morgan since way back in 1991, confirmed the news himself via Innstagram on Tuesday.
He had just appeared on the program the day before (on an episode filmed prior to this mandate being put in place), at which time a tunnel collapse seemingly took Jason’s life.
“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,” said Burton yesterday evening.
“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.”
As for why Burton made the decision NOT to protect himself and those around him from a very serious virus?
“This is also personal freedom to me,” he continued.
“I don’t think anyone should lose their livelihood over this. But with that being said, you know me, I’ll always be grateful for my time at General Hospital.
I love it there, I grew up there, I grew up with some of you. I’ll always be grateful.”
Could he ever return to the popular soap opera?
“Maybe one day if these mandates are lifted, I can return and finish my career as Jason Morgan. That would be an honor,” the actor wrote.
Burton tested positive for COVID-19 in August after he said he was exposed to the virus “at work,” although he didn’t specify whether he was referring to the General Hospital set.
He postponed his upcoming comedy club appearances and said in a video at the time that he was experiencing “no symptoms.”
The departure of Burton comes about two weeks after Ingo Rademacher similarly parted ways with General Hospital because he also declined to comply with the production’s recent vaccine mandate.
Burton concluded by saying he believes “multiple doors open” whenever one closes and added that he’s “excited to see what the future brings.”
“If not, I’m going to take this amazing experience, move forward and be forever grateful,” he addedd, prior to thanking fans for their support.
“I want you guys to have an awesome Thanksgiving,” he told fans.
“We have so many things to be thankful about and being grateful is the key.”