Rumors are flying that General Hospital (GH) is poised to announce the departure of one or more key cast members. According to entertainment insiders who’ve fanned the flames of speculation online, actors Ingo Rademacher (who plays Jasper Jacks) and Steve Burton (who plays Jason Morgan) are preparing to exit the soap.
The reason for these rumored exits is ABC’s new mandate, which is designed to prevent the global health crisis from further impacting GH’s production schedule. It requires that all staff (both on-screen and off-screen) be fully vaccinated in order to work on set.
Nancy Lee Grahn, whose tweet on August 12th acted as a lightning rod for this issue, explained the mandate as it relates to GH yesterday evening (November 3rd).
“General Hospital still remains ONLY Daytime Serial to mandate vaccines,” she tweeted. “Kudos to the leadership of [producer] Frank Valentini, ABC Network and Disney Studios.”
Disney, which owns ABC, has taken a strong position on fighting this virus.
“Smart leaders listen to science and protect their employees,” she added. “As of Nov 1st, entry to GH requires proper vaccine card. No exceptions.”
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In response to Grahn’s tweet, a social media user commented on the possibility that Rademacher and Burton are against the health measures. Grahn answered, “It is not my place to expound on that. It is theirs. Ask them.”
In late August, the ABC soap found itself at the center of a political firestorm when Ingo Rademacher called out GH viewers for creating the #FireIngo hashtag. The actor’s views on the issue had recently been unearthed when Grahn (who portrays Alexis Davis) first tweeted about working with unvaccinated staff on the GH set.
At this time, Burton and co-star Kelly Theibaud (who portrays Britt Westbourne) were in quarantine and reporting mild symptoms. “Long story short, I was exposed at work,” Burton explained in an Instagram story.
Although these are merely rumors, insiders are insisting that the legal department at ABC is involved with these cast exits, presumably to adjust contracts. One such insider expressed exasperation that decisions made “a month ago” at ABC have still not been made public.
So, while it seems fairly certain that a casting shuffle is in the works, it’s pure speculation to assume which actors will be departing the soap. Since GH tapes episodes weeks, if not months, ahead of time, the November 1st deadline suggests that we may get some answers to these rumors shortly.
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