Steve Burton Makes It Clear Why He Got Fired From General Hospital

After weeks of speculation, "General Hospital" star Steve Burton confirmed his exit from the show. Rumors swirled he would be leaving the soap opera and his role of Jason Morgan due to the COVID-19 vaccine mandate, and on November 23, he took to Instagram to tell his fans what really went wrong.

Burton's message came after fellow "General Hospital" star Ingo Rademacher got let go over the vaccine mandate, as Variety detailed. His final episode as Jasper "Jax" Jacks already aired by that point. Rademacher had been quite vocal about his stance on the COVID-19 vaccine, leaving no doubt regarding his opposition to the looming mandate. That contrasted with Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis Davis), who in October tweeted she was "very proud to work on the ONLY Daytime Soap that has required that all performers, staff and crew be vaccinated." Variety reported that the mandate went into effect for "General Hospital" staff on November 1, and up until Burton's Instagram messages to fans, he had remained silent on the issue.

Now Burton is speaking out and sharing his perspective on how the mandate led to his firing.

Burton wanted General Hospital fans to hear it from him

Steve Burton addressed his "General Hospital" employment via Instagram, writing, "I know that there's been a lot of rumors and speculation about me and 'General Hospital' and I wanted you to hear it from me personally." Burton continued, "Unfortunately, 'General Hospital' has let me go because of the vaccine mandate." The actor explained he had applied for both religious and medical exemptions but got denied, "which hurts." He continued, "This is also about personal freedom to me, I don't think anybody should lose their livelihood over this." The "General Hospital" star noted he was excited to see what the future would bring, adding, "maybe one day, if these mandates are lifted, I can return and finish my career as Jason Morgan, that would be an honor."

Burton noted he was not certain when his last "General Hospital" scenes would air. Spoilers suggest the character likely will be missing and presumed dead for now, although a recast might be on the horizon. However, there's no mention of the character in the recent teasers. 

Of course, fans are buzzing about Burton's update and are very curious to see what comes next. "His job obviously meant nothing to him," one person tweeted, while someone else said, "I love GH and Burton as Jason, but he made a choice. Now he must live with the consequences. Can't wait to see who GH hires as his replacement."