General Hospital ousts fan fave Steve Burton
EW has learned that Burton, who plays Jason, filmed his last episode of the ABC sudser on Oct. 27. His disappearance on the soap has been a huge source of speculation among fans, who feared his character may have been abruptly killed off in a tunnel collapse on Cassadine Island. That episode aired Monday – the same day Rademacher's character went off on a forever business trip.
A spokesperson for the daytime drama declined to comment.
Burton posted a video on Instagram Tuesday confirming his ouster.
"I wanted you to hear it from me," he said. "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, but this is also personal freedom to me. 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. And I believe when one door closes, multiple doors open. That's always been my perspective, so I am excited to see what the future brings."
Rademacher replied to Burton's post by saying, "Well said my friend." His onscreen wife, Laura Wright, also wrote, "Love you friend."
Burton returned to GH in 2017, after playing Jason on and off from 1991 to 2012. His character recently married his best friend Carly (Wright). The two had been best buddies since 1996, shared their first kiss in 1999, and finally made it official on the Sept. 17 episode.
Earlier this month, Rademacher – who plays Jasper "Jax" Jacks – was dropped after he declined to comply with the production's recently instituted vaccine mandate. His last episode was on Monday. Rademacher has been a vocal critic of COVID-19 vaccine efficacy and mandates.
General Hospital airs weekdays on ABC.
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