Ever since General Hospital (GH) found itself the focus of a political firestorm this summer, one name has consistently been on the periphery of the conversation.
No, not Ingo Rademacher (who will cease portraying Jasper “Jax” Jacks as of Monday, November 22nd), because let’s face it: he has been at the epicenter of daytime drama’s debate about health mandates all along. Rather, it’s Steve Burton, who plays fan-favorite Jason Morgan, who has been the subject of whispers, rumors and speculation.
When headlines broke about the unsafe working conditions on the set of the ABC soap, Burton was already in quarantine. He and co-star Kelly Thiebaud (Britt Westbourne) had tested positive for the virus, with Burton confirming that he’d been “exposed at work” on an Instagram story.
Unlike Thiebaud, however, Burton’s name has continued to haunt the health mandate narrative, long after Rademacher’s role with the soap imploded. But why? Burton isn’t on the record as being either for or against ABC’s health mandate, which as of November 1st, insists that all employees be fully vaccinated in order to work on set.
Want spoilers? Check out General Hospital Spoilers For The Next Two Weeks (November 15 – 26, 2021)
Put simply, it’s the silence of Steve Burton and GH on this matter that has many viewers bracing for yet another cast departure. The silence is so pervasive, in fact, that fans and insiders are taking it upon themselves to do the detective work. Here’s where the breadcrumbs have led us so far.
The loudest silence of all belongs to co-star Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis Davis), who blew the whistle on ABC’s health protocols back in August. “I work on a set with unmasked, unvaccinated actors, because my union thus far has allowed this. Full stop,” Grahn tweeted.
When the November 1st deadline passed and a fan asked Grahn if Rademacher and Burton were against the health mandate, Grahn responded, “It is not my place to expound on that. It is theirs. Ask them.”
Well, we now know that Rademacher had no plans to comply with the mandate, but Burton remains quiet on the issue. Not silent, but quiet.
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Amateur GH detectives recently flocked to a podcast that Burton recorded alongside co-star Bradford Anderson (Damian Spinelli), during which the actor made some cryptic remarks. As the duo — who make live appearances and riff on current (and future) GH storylines — discussed their upcoming show, Burton acknowledged that something had occurred which rendered most of his talking points obsolete.
“The problem is all of the material I have is pretty much irrelevant right now,” Burton stated. “So I’m either going to have to go back and dig into archives and get the best that I can piece together but it’s going to be a lot of work in the next three days.”
“I was starting to go over it last night and thought, ‘Well, can’t do that joke, can’t do that joke’,” he continued. “And there goes half my routine. It was horrible.”
“I think my stuff is still relevant because my stuff is more general versus specific storylines,” Anderson countered, further implying that Burton’s storylines had taken an unexpected turn.
Want plotline predictions? Check out General Hospital Plotline Predictions For The Next Two Weeks (November 15 – 26, 2021)
Some fans have argued that Burton’s podcast comments might’ve been connected to Rademacher’s exit, which at the time hadn’t been confirmed, but Rademacher’s character had very little to do with Burton’s. Jax was in Port Charles without a major storyline, while Jason has been on a mission in Greece.
Just as the podcast debate had some GH viewers feeling one way, Burton posted a promotional video for his appearance on Instagram — standing in front of the GH set! The post is full of comments and questions about his future on the soap, but no response from Burton.
The latest breadcrumbs have led intrepid GH sleuths to Burton’s Cameo page. For those who aren’t aware, Cameo is a social media platform where celebrities record personalized greetings for a price. In the case of Burton’s account, that price would be $10,000 for a single business greeting! Many onlookers can’t help but think the extra zero on that price-tag might be due to his imminent departure from GH.
What does all of this mean? At its most incontrovertible, something has happened behind the scenes at ABC which has affected Steve Burton. Is it the health mandate? Is it some other contract issue? We do not know. But when the silence on this issue is so intense that we’re reporting on Burton’s side gigs for context, it indicates that we are not meant to know… yet.
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