Rockmond Dunbar written off 9-1-1 after failing to comply with COVID vaccine mandate
In a statement obtained by EW, 20th Television said: "We take the health and safety of all of our employees very seriously, and have implemented a mandatory vaccination confirmation process for those working in Zone A on our productions. In order to ensure a safer workplace for all, Zone A personnel who do not confirm their vaccination status and do not meet the criteria for exemption will not be eligible to work."
Dunbar's character was somewhat abruptly written off the show in Monday night's episode when his character Michael decided to move to Haiti with his fiancé David, after an explosion nearly took the neurosurgeon's life.
In a statement to Deadline, Dunbar confirmed the circumstances of his departure. "I applied for religious and medical accommodations pursuant to the law and unfortunately was denied by my employer," he said. "My sincerely held beliefs and private medical history are very intimate and personal aspects of my life that I do not publicly discuss and have no desire to start now. I've been an actor in this business for 30 years, but my greatest roles are as a husband and father to our four small children. As a man that walks in faith, I look forward to what the future holds."
The actor then added, "I have enjoyed the last five seasons with this wonderful cast and crew and will cherish the time I've been blessed to spend with this series and wish everyone involved nothing but the best."
A 9-1-1 series regular since the show's pilot, Dunbar's Michael was initially married to Athena (Angela Bassett) on the first season, before he came out as gay. The couple then divorced but remained on good terms, continuing to co-parent their two children together.
9-1-1 airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.
Sign up for Entertainment Weekly's free daily newsletter to get breaking TV news, exclusive first looks, recaps, reviews, interviews with your favorite stars, and more.