Veteran “General Hospital” actor Steve Burton said Tuesday that he has been fired from the iconic ABC soap opera for failing to get vaccinated against Covid-19.
Burton, who played Jason Morgan in more than 2,200 episodes for the past 30 years, was still listed on the “General Hospital” website Tuesday.
His termination had been rumored for weeks around Port Charles.
“I wanted you to hear it from me personally,” Burton said in a video posted to his Instagram account. “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 about personal freedom to me. I don’t think anybody should lose their livelihood over this.”
Burton, 51, thanked fans and his “General Hospital” cast mates.
“I’ll always be grateful for my time at ‘General Hospital,'” he said. “I love it there. I grew up there. I grew up with some of you.”
Burton’s character is right-hand man to mobster Sonny Corinthos, played by Maurice Benard. In Morgan’s latest arc, the character was trapped in a cave and presumed missing or dead.
Still, Burton didn’t completely close the door on “General Hospital.”
“Maybe one day if these mandates are lifted, I can return and finish my career as Jason Morgan. That would be an honor,” he said. “And if not I’m going to take this amazing experience, move forward and be forever grateful.”
NBC News confirmed Tuesday that Burton was let go for failing to adhere to a vaccination mandate and that his last shoot for the show was on Oct. 27.