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General Hospital's Vaccine Controversy Is Only Getting More Complicated

Fans of daytime soap operas could be in for more unwelcome news. More changes might be coming to "General Hospital" soon, and it's all down to some reported behind-the-scenes drama involving a fan-favorite cast member.

Steve Burton is one of the most tenured actors on ABC's "General Hospital." The veteran joined the medical-themed soap opera as Jason Quartermaine in 1991, but that persona was short-lived, as Quartermaine morphed into Jason Morgan, an assassin and right-hand man to a mobster. Other actors have played the same character, but Burton is the poster boy. It's complicated, to say the least, but that's the beauty of "General Hospital."

Burton left the show in 2012 to join "The Young and the Restless" cast (per The Huffington Post). However, he returned in 2017 to reprise the Morgan character and has been a mainstay ever since. That being said, the actor's run on the show could be coming to an end once again as the result of the vaccine controversy that led to Ingo Rademacher's unexpected departure earlier this month.

Is Steve Burton leaving General Hospital?

Ingo Rademacher, who'd been a member of the "General Hospital" cast since 1996, was ousted from the show in early November after refusing to adhere to ABC's vaccine mandate. The actor is an outspoken critic of the COVID-19 vaccine, and it seems that he wasn't willing to compromise his beliefs to stay on the series. All "General Hospital" cast and crew members have been told that they must get the COVID-19 vaccine in order to keep working on the show, which has led to some backstage drama.

According to Variety, Burton is the latest "General Hospital" star to reject the vaccine mandate, and his departure could be imminent. In fact, some fans are wondering if he's already cut ties with his employers. While the story is all speculation at the time of this writing, an ABC spokesperson and Burton's publicist were both quiet when Variety reached out for comments. It remains to be seen how the situation will unfold.

Burton, who tested positive for the coronavirus back in August, 2021, revealed that he contracted the virus after being exposed at work.