‘General Hospital’ fired another actor, Steve Burton, for refusing to get vaccinated

Steve Burton, Best Supporting Actor for The Young and The Restless  at the 44th Daytime Emmy Awards - Press Room, Pasadena Civic Auditorium, Pasadena, CA 04-30-17

Apparently, soap operas are hotbeds of anti-vaxx idiocy. You would think: working actors, happy to have jobs, happy to work throughout the pandemic, would be eager to comply with the studio’s vaccine mandate. But now the second actor in a month’s time has been fired for refusing to comply with a vaccine mandate specifically on General Hospital. CB discussed this several weeks ago with GH actor Ingo Rademacher. Rademacher was fired because he refused to comply with the vaccine mandate. Now Steve Burton has been fired too, but it seems he was allowed to complete his character’s storyline before he was justifiably sh-tcanned.

Steve Burton has been let go from General Hospital for not complying with the show’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate. After his exit was rumored among fans of the ABC soap opera, the 51-year-old actor shared the news in a video on his Instagram page Tuesday. Burton filmed his final episode of the show last month, PEOPLE confirms.

“I know there’s been a lot of rumors and speculations about me and General Hospital. I wanted you to hear it from me personally,” he said in the clip. “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.”

Burton continued, “But this is also about 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…. Maybe one day if these mandates are lifted, I can return and finish my career as Jason Morgan. That would be an honor,” he concluded, referencing the character he has played off and on since 1991.

Burton tested positive for COVID-19 in August after he said he was exposed to the virus “at work,” though he didn’t specify whether he was referring to the General Hospital set. He postponed his upcoming comedy club appearances and said in a video at the time that he was experiencing “no symptoms.”

[From People]

Dude got Covid in AUGUST because he was unvaxxed then and he’s still unvaxxed? How stupid. What doesn’t kill you the first time will mutate and kill you the second time. This is such bullsh-t too: “I did apply for my medical and religious exemptions, and both of those were denied… But this is also about personal freedom to me.” So which is it? Is he medically incapable of taking the vaccine? Are vaccines against his religion? Or is this some kind of MAGA-dumbf–kery stance about “personal freedom”? Pick a struggle.

Also: someone tweeted this and I’m curious about it too, how is General Hospital writing off these characters? Are the characters catching Covid and dying? Clearly, Burton thinks there’s a chance he could come back at some point – which I hope producers shut down in a hurry – so obviously they didn’t “kill off” his character, they just wrote him off in some other way.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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66 Responses to “‘General Hospital’ fired another actor, Steve Burton, for refusing to get vaccinated”

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  1. Ariel says:

    This one pains me- i haven’t watched in YEARS, but i am old enough to remember him as teen Jason Quartermaine (pre-head injury) and post injury Jason Morgan the hit man with a heart of gold. And he was always such a great character.
    But, my mom watched GH too, and she died of Covid before there was a vaccine to take, which she would have taken. So- i’ll keep it clean but- F him.

    • Bookie says:

      I’m sorry about your mom.

    • Runaway says:

      I am so sorry for your loss and f-ck him indeed.
      I recently read that half, HALF the population of Europe died during the bubonic plague.
      If the US had had competent leadership who pushed science and public safety in the name of patriotism so many lives could have been saved while we waited for a vaccine and resume our lives. It’s a shame this virus killer so many innocent lives instead of the natural selection of covidiots it should have.

    • ThatsNotOkay says:

      My god, that’s awful. I’m so sorry for your loss.

    • Rachel De Young says:

      Sorry about your Mom.

      Also yes Jason Quartermaine. Haven’t watched GH since the 90’s (94ish). I though he’s not Jason Morgan, but could not remember the name.

      • Smalltowngirl says:

        Rachel, Jason was in a car accident in th mid 90s (96, I believe) and got brain damage and lost his memory and took the name Jason Morgan and became a mob enforcer.

      • BayTampaBay says:

        Did Jason Morgan not go to work for mob boss Sonny Corinthos?

      • Rachel De Young says:

        @smalltowngirl thanks for the info. I was obsessed with soaps when I was a kid and teenager. The only one I watch now is Coronation Street!

      • Cessily says:

        My grandmother watched this soap, he has been dead several times and also is Jason Q who suffered brain damage due to his brother driving drunk and injuring him in an accident then he became Jason Morgan (brain damaged with memory loss of course) and dated Robin Scorpio that was a long long time ago.. ridiculous story but makes me smile thinking of my grandmother.
        Surprised these characters last so long, really liked it better when I didn’t know which ones were idiots, I have no sympathy for anti vax people. I would like to know if GH has a solid audience and good ratings? I ask because I truthfully do not know anyone anymore that watched GH or any Soap opera.

    • Natters says:

      You should write that on his IG page so he can get a sense of reality. These actors getting canned are trying to come off as freedom heroes when in reality they have more than enough $$ to leave their projects.

      • Still_Sarah says:

        @ Natters. Re : Freedom Heroes. I responded to someone on Twitter who was going on about their “rights” to explain that the concept was two-fold – rights and responsibilities. You have rights in a democratic society but you also have responsibilities to behave in a way that doesn’t harm that society.

    • FuefinaWG says:

      F**king Steve Burton! They can’t replace this character with anyone else. I guess he’ll get lost in the tunnel and suddenly appear again in 3 years after Britte Westbourne has finally found her happily-ever-after. What a schmuck. F**k him!

    • Charfromdarock says:

      I’m so sorry for your loss, Ariel.

      Good on GH and ABC for standing their ground on this issue.

    • BlinkB says:

      But he has natural antibodies now, so why does he need to get vaxxed? I’m confused…

      • Laura Bee says:

        Seriously? You can get Covid more than once. You need to get vaccinated regardless of how many times you’ve had Covid. You can still pass on the virus to others, and it can still kill you.

  2. TIFFANY says:

    What the hell is he gonna do now?

    Where is this wonderous second income source that he has and is quite successful at?

    • Dee says:

      He’s been shilling some sort of juice cleanse for years. Plus he has a podcast with the guy that plays/ed- Spinelli. I think they still do that traveling band thing too, but not sure how many jurisdictions are going to look favorably on an unvaccinated traveling band. I don’t know how “successful” any of these ventures are but he definitely has been playing up to the MAGA/country/state fair crowds for a while. Do they still do Soap Opera Conventions? When I was kid and still watched GH faithfully, he was always a popular draw,

      • Mw says:

        There was a point when he left GH and was living in Nashville I think. I think he became a born again Christian and after that would not do any sex scenes or appear shirtless. It was why everyone was disappointed when he and Liz spent the night together. LOL …watched it religiously through grad school

      • Still_Sarah says:

        @ MW : Watching it religiously through grad school. We’ll file that under #GuiltyPleasures.

  3. girl_ninja says:

    The tunnel the character was in caved in and crushed him. They couldn’t find any signs of life so he is presumed dead. I wanted something more final and concrete, like him on a slab in the morgue. Ole Steve turned out to be a racist before all this went down too so good riddance to stank rubbish.

    • Bryn says:

      It wouldn’t matter if they crushed him between two cars and showed him dead after, they would still find a way to bring him back. Its a soap opera after all

      • BayTampaBay says:

        I always like character that got burned up in fires and explosions than came back to the show after plastic surgery with a new face and six inches taller or six inches shorter!

    • terra says:

      He’s died and come back before. His character was recast and brought back to life. Then he decided to return to the show too, so they brought him in and explained the new Jason away as a secret twin brother he didn’t know about . . . despite having already been given a secret twin brother he didn’t know about just a couple of years before he “died.”

      Sadly, I am not joking.

      My grandmother watches. I look up spoilers for her every now and then, so I generally have some idea of what is happening even though I refuse to watch episodes with her, thanks to being forced to watch with my abusive mother when I was a kid.

      Good riddance, jerk. My grandma’s vaccinated and she’ll be happy you’re gone. She was super unhappy when they ran out of pre-taped episodes last year. The chances that’ll happen again have now gone down again, making this a win in her book. Thanks for that!

    • AmB says:

      Anybody remember the movie “Soapdish” where Whoopi Goldberg had to resurrect Kevin Kline’s decapitated character?

      • Deering24 says:

        AmB —“How am I supposed to write a character with no head? He’s got no lips, no vocal chords…”🤣🤣🤣🤣

  4. Barbie1 says:

    He is a right wing maga Christian. He will try any excuse to not get vaccinated. Disney and general hospital were not swayed by his bullsh*t. Good for them. The lives of his coworkers mean nothing to him.

    • AnnaKist says:

      I just don’t get these morons. We have them here in Australia too, claiming their right to decide for themselves what to do with their bodies is being taken away by government. 1: It’s not the government. It’s employers aiming to keep as many people safe as possible whether that’s their employees or customers. 2: They say they don’t like being told what to do, but don’t stop and think of everything they do daily: Driving your car means you mist have it registered, you must have insurance, must obey the road rules, must not be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, must not use your mobile phone while driving… and if you break any of these rules you will be fined and must pay those fines, otherwise you’ll be taken to court where you’ll likely lose your license and the privilege of driving. 3: travelling on a plane? Do your pockets and put your belongings in this tray. Take off your shoes. Move over here and get scanned.
      Every day we obey rules that are meant to keep as many people as safe as possible, and so we can move around efficiently. Sure people break these rules, and they are punished for doing so. People like this guy don’t care about the other people around them, so he and his ilk can naff off.

      Get vaccinated, don’t get vaccinated. It’s your choice, but don’t whinge when you are excluded from places that require full vaccination.

      • Barbie1 says:

        Well said. People like that are puppets that will say or do anything their rightwing leader tells them to do. Rational thinking is not their forte. Not even the safety of their children can convince them to get the vaccine. Truly vile.

  5. tempest prognosticator says:

    No one ever stays dead on soaps.

    • FuefinaWG says:

      True! Michael Easton has been brought back as a new character at least 5 times. Roger Howarth is having his second go-around with a new character.

  6. Suz says:

    Steve had the easiest acting job in the world. Jason was basically brain dead so played a stone cold no personality hit man who never changes out of his leather jacket. I haven’t watched in years but he was the most boring character to me.
    That sux about Jax though. He was one of my favorites.

  7. Coco Bean says:

    Yikes! My Mom was a GH fan so I watched it growing up. Named my dog Jasper and Mom suggested Jasper Jax. Disappointing to hear these actors are anti-vax, racist, and trans-phobic. Good riddance.

  8. teresa says:

    “IT’S ABOUT FREEDUMB”, says a guy who has probably been vaccinated 117 times for all kinds of disease! LOL. Bye-bye Jason Quartermain Morgan, you can be replaced. Yep, he started in this world as a Quartermain and will end it as a MAGA dufus.

  9. TheOriginalMia says:

    Saw pics last night of this asshat flashing the White Power sign in a scene with a black actress. Blow him up and recast if you must.

  10. Asking for a friend says:

    There was a photo circulating on Twitter with him flashing the white power sign.

  11. Merricat says:

    I no longer have time for these jokers whose idiocy is keeping us in the virus loop. He was lucky to have a job, and he blew it. I don’t care what happens to him.

    • ME says:

      These morons are the reason this pandemic won’t be ending anytime soon. MIchigan has the highest rate of Covid in America currently. The rates in Michigan are higher now than BEFORE the vaccine. How the f*ck is that even possible? These anti-vaxx imbeciles make me rage.

  12. TeeBee says:

    These walking sundried tomatoes can enjoy their freedoms all they want, in the privacy of their own homes surrounded by the other supercalifragilebiscuits that want to remain vulnerable to a novel virus that wants nothing but a warm moist cavern to multiply and drown out all other living cells. They’re doing us a favour, identifying themselves, proudly and poutily.

    Buhbye… buh bye.

  13. 2lazy4username says:

    Interesting that he says people shouldn’t lose their livelihoods over the vaccine mandate. Well, how about this: People have not only lost their livelihoods in the form of businesses that broke and crumbled under the weight of COVID, but also their LIVES. Fine, don’t get vaccinated, but don’t expect zero consequences. You have a choice in the matter; the others did not.

    • Ange says:

      I much prefer people losing their livelihoods than people losing their lives due to anti vax selfishness. Like, how is it even comparable?

  14. Lunasf17 says:

    Lol bye! Wonder if these Maga dudes are gonna have a rude awakening when they realize the job offers for middle aged, boring ass anti vaxxers aren’t exactly rolling in.

  15. lucy2 says:

    Another dum dum. Good riddance. He can have all the freedom he wants in his own living room. The people who work on the cast and crew of the show deserve a safe working environment.
    I’m grossed out by these people trying both religious and medical exemption tactics. AFAIK, there’s no religion stating it’s prohibited, and abusing the medical exemption is harmful to people who TRULY ARE MEDICALLY EXEMPT. They’re the ones we have to protect with herd immunity, not this turd.

  16. Everything is roses says:

    Revolting. He deserves whatever he gets.

  17. Lena says:

    Glad these people who want to cut off their nose to spite their face aren’t given “exemptions”. Having an acting job is a privilege not a right.

  18. Smalltowngirl says:

    This one kills me. Jason is my fave and always had been from the time I was a teenager girl. I haven’t watched GH regularly in years, but I did tune in when Steve came back just to see the reunions and ugh. Like this one hurts.

    • BayTampaBay says:

      Which Steve?

      • Smalltown Girl says:

        Steve Burton. The actor. So he left and Jason died, but then they recast hi and had him have had plastic surgery. But then Steve Burton came back, so They revealed that the new Jason was his secret twin who had been implanated with Jason’s memories.

  19. KBeth says:

    He’s a moron.

  20. Red Weather Tiger says:

    Glad they shitcanned him. I’ve never liked this actor on GH, and they recast Jason once before when Burton flipped them the bird and went to Y&R. They lured him back for some dumbass reason, sidelined and eventually ditched the replacement actor (who was cute and charming and actually a GOOD actor), and brought this fool back. So glad he’s gone, though I have not watched GH since Covid TV kept interrupting the show and I gave up.

    • H says:

      Yes, Billy Martin was SO good as fake Jason, later Drew his twin brother. I think Steve is expecting to go back to The Young and the Restless, but I think CBS has a vaccine mandate/testing too.

      I’ve been watching GH since 1980 (Luke and Laura era) and this one pains me. I loved Jason and Robin, and Jason and Sam. However, it looks like Ingo and Steve are both racist MAGA-loving idiots. Good riddance to them. I hope they recast Jax and Jason.

  21. Who ARE These People? says:

    He doesn’t have to lose his livelihood, just the easy, cushy, retire-out-of-it livelihood he was lucky enough to stumble into because of his good looks. Which aren’t so good any more.

    It’s a hospital show, they should show him dying of COVID.

  22. North of Boston says:

    “Pick a struggle!”
    I wanted to laugh at this but COVIDIOTS like this dude are making that hard.

    (Also my phone’s autocorrect is suggesting COVIDIOTS … how sad is that)

  23. Ann says:

    I haven’t watched GH in years but I went to boarding school. There was one TV in our dorm, in a big hallway, and it would always be on as people were coming back from their last classes and we’d hang around and watch it. I can’t even remember who the hot couple was then!

    Glad they canned him.

  24. Malificent says:

    The virus doesn’t give a sh*t about your First Amendment rights, nor does it care who you voted for or how performatively religious you are. The virus is just looking for another warm host to replicate in.

  25. Apple Cart says:

    Good, Steve had no problem fleecing his fans for MLM money. He shilled that crap “acai wine” MonaVie for years. And he has not aged well at all. And on a side note, Howard Stern went hard on Ingo for losing an easy good paying job at GH for not getting vaxxed. It was perfection.

  26. Me says:

    I think his wife is rich? He’ll just live off of her money. I was into the show years ago and liked reading the behind the scenes gossip. At one time he was super close to the woman that plays Elizabeth and her husband but that ended – probably because they are Democrats and he’s a nut.

    • terra says:

      @Me: Oh, that makes me happy to hear about Rebecca Herbst, the actress who plays Elizabeth!

      Like I said above, I don’t watch, but my grandmother does. My (terrible) mother forced me to watch with her when I was a kid, so I avoid it even though I live with my grandmother that I love very much. I pass through the living room every so often and catch her watching episodes on the DVR and am always blown away by how beautiful Rebecca Herbst still. She’s aging fantastically and doesn’t appear to have messed with her face much, if at all.

      Seriously, guys, even if you don’t watch the show, look her up. I’ve always thought she was amongst the prettiest actresses I’ve ever seen. So very, very pretty, that one.

  27. Mimi says:

    I haven’t actually watched GH in years, but will read the recaps. I’ll see some clips on YouTube but honestly not even upset about this. I used to love Jason but in the past few years I’ve gotten sick of him and Steve Burton’s acting has lost quality. The whole Carly-Jason marriage thing makes me cringe and I’m ready for a new leading man. I do love Maurice benard tho. Sonny has a special place in my heart (the stone-robin AIDS storyline). NOW if they will only bring back Morgan 🤷

  28. Erin says:

    I’ll speak on what I’m seeing in the US and people like Steve that are all around me and in my family. Yeah it has nothing to do with what they say it does, they just use those excuses as cover ups. You aren’t for medical freedom if you are anti choice for women, which is the excuse my maga family is currently giving. They have never uttered the words medical freedom and medical choice before the last year. With most of the magas around me it’s because of the alt right and trump completely effing this whole thing up and telling their cult followers that this isn’t a big deal and it’s all a conspiracy. Then the churches followed. This happened in his last year so they were all completely ensnared by him and willing to believe any and everything that came out of his mouth. They all have victim complex so they are more than willing to believe this is an attack in them and the church. Then the genie was out of the bottle and by the time trump decided to tell his rabid followers to get the vaccine they turned on him. I think if this happened a year earlier and the vaccines were fully ready to go while trump was still in office and he told all of his minions to get his miracle vaccine from the start, even if it was just to take credit for it and not because he actually gives a crap about people, we would be in a completely different world right now here in the US.

  29. MoonTheLoon says:

    Wait, he’s still alive? I remember him from when he was on “Out of this World.” I think Burt Reynolds was more interesting than him and he didn’t even have an onscreen part! Good riddance.

  30. Persistent Cat says:

    51? Yeah no

  31. Jezzebeelzebub says:

    I DONT UNDERSTAND THESE PEOPLE AT ALL. They’re willing to self treat with heartworm medication for animals but they refuse the Covid vaccine… How does that make ANY sense? How does one justify taking a medical issue and turning it into an issue of political opinion? ITS JUST SCIENCE AND SCIENCE DOESNT HAVE A POLITICAL AGENDA. I personally know a lot of these anti Covid vaxx dipshits (because I work in the medical field) whom I know for a fact have been vaccinated against ALL SORTS of other shit, but they’re getting fired in droves fir refusing the Covid vaccine. There’s no difference between a flu shot and the Covid vaccine. They *all* got their flu shots- but since the flu shots don’t have anything to do with bipartisan politics, I guess they’re somehow more benign? I don’t know. I don’t fucking know.
    But I’m about… Say… 95 percent sure that if fucking Trump got his orange, demented ass in front of a camera and urged these idiots to save their own lives by getting the vaccine that HE DEFINITELY RECEIVED HIMSELF, they’d stampede toward the nearest drugstore to get it and not a got-damn one of them would be like BUT MAH RELIGION THO.