Rockmond Dunbar has left 9-1-1 because he refuses to get vaccinated


We’ve heard of so many actors and actresses screwing up their careers by refusing to get vaccinated. Kaiser and I talked about it on this week’s podcast, so listen to that section if you’d like to hear us go off about it. We used the word “dumbass” a lot. Antivaxxers in entertainment and sports are giving up extremely high paying jobs and looking like asses in the press.

Rockmond Dunbar plays Michael Grant, the ex husband of Angela Bassett’s character, Athena Grant, on 9-1-1. Very mild spoiler for an early season – they split early on because his character is gay. I like and appreciate Dunbar on 9-1-1, and I remember him from The Path and Sons of Anarchy. On 9-1-1 he’s got that reliable dad quality that’s both familiar and likable. So I’m bummed that he refuses to get vaccinated and won’t be returning to the show.

Original 9-1-1 cast member Rockmond Dunbar is leaving the hit Fox drama series after more than four seasons. His character, Michael Grant, was abruptly written off in Monday night’s episode, leaving fans of the first-responders drama stunned. According to sources, Dunbar’s departure stems from the new Covid protocols on the show, produced by Disney TV Studios’ 20th Television, which require all actors to be vaccinated.

I hear Dunbar requested a medical exemption and later sought a religious exemption. Both were reviewed by Disney and were rejected, sources said. According to insiders, Dunbar is not believed to be anti-vaxxer but declined to comply with the Covid vaccine mandate based on the grounds he presented, which led to his exit from 9-1-1.

In a statement to Deadline, Dunbar confirmed the circumstances surrounding 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 4 small children. As a man that walks in faith, I look forward to what the future holds.”

Dunbar went on to say, “I have enjoyed the last 5 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.“

In response to Deadline’s inquiry, a spokesman for 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.”

[From Deadline]

Dunbar is “not believed to be an anti-vaxxer” as Deadline mentioned. He’s refusing to discuss the details, but he’s not getting vaccinated so it’s basically the same thing. He says he’s a “man that walks in faith” so does that mean 1) he thinks God will protect him and/or 2) he’s one of those people who conflates stem cell research (which is used for everything) with the vaccines containing stem cells (which they do not)? I’m reminded of the joke where a woman prays to God to win the lottery. He answers back “help me out, buy a ticket.” Thankfully so many people of faith realize that the vaccines are here to protect them and that God works through scientists and doctors too.

I’m bummed because, and no spoilers, they obviously changed the last episode so they could give Grant a decent send off. I didn’t get to watch it until last night and I was mad I already knew this about Dunbar. Imagine all the people, the writers, the producers, the other actors, who had to accommodate his unwillingness to take a safe and highly effective vaccine. This is 9-1-1 and it’s consistently ridiculous which is why it’s awesome, but the storyline would have been different if he just had some sense. You could tell that they were sad to say goodbye to him as there was a whole montage at the end. How do these antivaxxers let it get so far?! Your career is over now. Just get f’ing vaccinated!

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44 Responses to “Rockmond Dunbar has left 9-1-1 because he refuses to get vaccinated”

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  1. Lauren says:

    With so many tens of millions vaccinated around the globe I seriously cannot wrap my head around the antivaxxers reason not to get vaccinated. In Italy 84.28% of the population over 12 is vaccinated and antivaxxers are still screaming that 7 people may have died due to direct causes from the vaccine. 7 against over 45 million vaccinated. I don’t get why people are so willing to ruin their careers over choosing not to get a shot that has been proven time and time again as safe.

  2. Amy Bee says:

    If he’s refusing to get the vaccine, he’s an anti-vaxxer.

      • Anne Call says:

        ++1 and risking his 4 children makes me even more disgusted. Don’t care how good of an actor he is, he’s an anti science moron who is contributing to the misinformation and continuation of a global pandemic. Hope he stays home if he gets sick and doesn’t take away a hospital bed from someone who needs it.

    • WithTheAmerican says:

      This. There is no “medical history” that would allow other vaccines but just not this one. So dad because I loved his character and he’s such a handsome guy.

      • whatWHAT? says:

        the medical and religious exemptions are almost always used as a “throw everything and see what sticks” method to get out of doing something…in this case, take a safe and effective vaccine.

        if his “sincerely held beliefs” would prevent him from getting the shot, why wasn’t that put forth FIRST? and not at a later date than the so-called “medical” exemption? such BULL.

  3. Normades says:

    I think what they mean when they say they’re not “anti-vax” is that it’s ok for everyone else to get it to keep my un-vaxxed ass safe. Meanwhile I will selfishly not do that for others.

    • BothSidesNow says:

      @ Normades, that’s an excellent portrayal of their mind set. You guys get vaccinated and I will sit my ass out during this little cold going on. But you know I am protected and I will just be fine. The fact that he is African American, he should have been one of the first in line, given that statistically his ethnicity has a greater chance of death, opposed to other ethnicities. My god, it’s one, well two, little pokes. That’s it!! You will be safe for a period of at least 6 months AND you will protect your wife and your children. But instead of thinking of your wife and children first, you would rather be selfish and not get vaccinated.

      BTW, Dunbar, where do you plan on finding another job? Delivery driver? You might want to join the police force since so many are refusing to be vaccinated and the stupid unions are supporting their decisions to not vaccinate. Yet, all of the unvaccinated PO’s across the country will place the public, that they have sworn to protect, in harms way due to their selfishness and ignorance. Got it!!!

  4. Mia4s says:

    Applied for a religious exemption…and then a medical one. Not enough face palm emojis in the world to express how pathetic that is. 🤦‍♀️

    Go away please. Oh he did? Good. Somehow Hollywood will survive without your medium talent.

    • ME says:

      The religious exemption really bothers me. What religion says you can’t get vaccinated? Also, would there be any followers of that religion left? I mean if they can’t get vaccinated, they’d probably catch many horrible viruses wouldn’t they? Good chance of them all dying off slowly. Morons.

      • Songs (Or it didnt happen) says:

        There was a news story a bit back about a woman who refused to be vaccinated due to religious beliefs, and the distinction was very clear that it was not “against her religion” but her *personal* religious beliefs. I don’t know if that is the case here, but anyone can make the claim that their own unique relationship with God would not allow it.

      • ME says:

        @Songs (Or it didnt happen)

        Oh ok I see what you’re saying. Still ridiculous though.

      • Songs (Or it didnt happen) says:

        Oh agreed. It’s completely ridiculous.

    • lucy2 says:

      Exactly – a true medical exemption? Sure, but you better be able to provide documentation for it, and be willing to follow all other protocols. Honestly if you have that serious a medical condition, working on a set with hundreds of people probably isn’t safe anyway.
      But to try that PLUS a religious exemption? Ha!

  5. Izzy says:

    Good. These selfish aholes need to face more consequences.

  6. Courtney B says:

    I wonder how soon Joe Rogan will pop up to support him. He had Tim pool 🤢 and Alex Jones 🤮🤬 on his podcast yesterday and were going on about the unsafety of vaccines, tyranny etc. He supports ivermectin and hydrocloroquine though. He takes the side, as we saw with Aaron Rodgers, of all ‘oppressed’ antivaxxers. Cases like this, with B and C list actors, are becoming their new cancel culture outrage. And his is the TOP podcast in the US which is frightening.

    • BothSidesNow says:

      @ Courtney B, Rogan and the rest of them can fall off of the planet for all I care. I am certain that people like him, Jones and the rest of the “oppressed” will eventually fade into their nothingness that they rightly deserve. I am certain that Jones was probably crying out how his is a “victim” now that the courts are still holding him financially liable for the inexcusable pain and anguish that he caused the families of the Sandy Hook shooting. Pathetic. All of them.

      • BayTampaBay says:

        “Jones and the rest of the “oppressed” will eventually fade into their nothingness that they rightly deserve.”

        Unless of course they die of COVID first. I would not be surprised to find out that Joe Rogan is actually fully vaccinated and just lying through his teeth as he preaches to his unintelligent listener base.

      • whatWHAT? says:

        “I would not be surprised to find out that Joe Rogan is actually fully vaccinated and just lying through his teeth as he preaches to his unintelligent listener base.”

        just like all of the talking heads at Faux News.

  7. dahlia6 says:

    He could ask my uncle, the preacher, about how that faith thing is working out in regards to protecting people against covid. Oh, wait. He can’t. We buried him last month.

  8. Dee says:

    Don’t let the door hit you on the way out. I can’t sympathize with someone who puts others at risk.

  9. Cat C says:

    Deuces.

  10. Ninks says:

    He’s not a first responder on the show and he’s only connected to the main cast because he coparents with a lead character, so his character could have been written off long ago. Or made recurring instead of a regular cast member. He even got a pay rise with the rest of the cast for season 5. So the producers obviously liked him and wanted to keep him on. It’s not like they’re using the opportunity to get rid of him. He’s giving up a really well paid job because of his refusal to take a vaccine that’s proved to be safe, during a pandemic. And the guy who played his fiance was also written off so he has also lost his job. I hope whatever principal or belief he holds so dear is worth it.

  11. Malificent says:

    I don’t get the medical exemption logic. If you have a health problem that is so severe that you can’t tolerate the vaccine, then you are in such a high risk categpry that you shouldn’t even be leaving your house. And with three vaccines to choose from, an allergy to an ingredient is an unlikely excuse.

    • Another Anna says:

      A friend of my family’s can’t take the vaccine due to a medical issue. He’s had life-threatening reactions to a number of other vaccines, so his doctor recommended he not take this one. He follows every protocol you can think of and doesn’t go into dangerous situations. I completely agree with all of you who are saying that those who actually need a medical exemption would take many more precautions.

      I’m so tired of these anti-vaxxers. One of my aunts is refusing to get the vaccine. She got Covid last month and STILL won’t get it. Her reasoning? She wants to wait until there’s no more controversy and everybody agrees that it’s safe. I’m terrified she’s going to get it again and not make it the next time around. Good for Disney for putting their foot down and not putting the other cast and crew members in danger.

  12. ME says:

    Another idiot.

  13. lucy2 says:

    I can’t get over the selfishness, and stupidity. A regular cast member role on an established, popular? network drama is a pretty lucrative gig.

    The “faith” argument is such crap too. I saw a good cartoon the other day:
    Person: “God will protect me! I have faith!”
    Gets covid, dies, goes to heaven.
    Person: “God, why didn’t you protect me?”
    God: “I sent a vaccine, didn’t I?”

  14. TheOriginalMia says:

    Play stupid games, win stupid prizes. Enjoy unemployment.

  15. Athena says:

    I missed the show, how did they write him off?

    • Songs (Or it didnt happen) says:

      (spoilers spoilers spoilers)
      (spoilers spoilers spoilers)
      (spoilers spoilers spoilers)

      His boyfriend David was going to help in Haiti after a bad hurricane. Michael proposed and then went with him.

  16. TIFFANY says:

    My understanding as part of the SAG union, medical info, while private, is still released so a show can insure you.

    So he is talking about private medical records, while still agreeing to release them to work.

    Make it make sense.

  17. Drew says:

    I’m black and I have volunteered for vaccine pop ups in underserved communities. It was revealed that during the trials for all the vaccines not one of the pharmaceutical company’s used black people as part of their trial. There are some black people especially black Americans who are out off by that. America’s racist history does not bode very well in the black community. Some black people feel like since black people were not part of the trials the vaccine is not for them 😒. I definitely try to combat that mentality but man it’s hard when you are speaking with people who fell so run down. This is not an excuse just more of a background in mistrust in the black community.

    • TIFFANY says:

      Yeah. Not true and one of the scientists involved in the vaccine is a Black woman and several other scientists were POC.

      They could not get a diverse group of volunteers for this fast enough.

      • Drew says:

        Yeah I know a black woman created the vaccine I was only talking about the trials. It doesn’t change how some black people feel though 🤦🏾‍♀️

    • lucy2 says:

      This is a non-partisan group that researches issues like clinical trial demographics. If you scroll through, you can see the chart. Black Americans, and Asian Americans, were a bit underrepresented based on population percentages, but this was one of the most diverse trials in history. I’m sorry to hear that misinformation is deterring people from getting vaccinated and protecting themselves.
      https://www.kff.org/racial-equity-and-health-policy/issue-brief/racial-diversity-within-covid-19-vaccine-clinical-trials-key-questions-and-answers/

    • ME says:

      Nope I’m sorry but that is ridiculous. A lilttle research would show you that Black people and many POC were used in the trials. Why can’t people be smart and do some damn research? This vaccine has been used on billions of people around the world. It’s not some conspiracy against Black people. I really think the only Black people that refuse to take the vaccine are just good old anti-vaxxers. Plenty of Black people have taken the vaccine and are doing great.

      • Drew says:

        I agree with you. Black people in underserved communities don’t care though. There is such a mistrust omg.

  18. jferber says:

    NO religion has said not to get the COVID vaccine, as far as I know. Hopefully it stays that way. And yes, he should leave the show if he’s unvaxxed. At least he’s better than Aaron Rodgers who ACTIVELY lied about it and exposed many, many people to COVID. And f-cker Rodgers STILL has a job!!!!