Ingo Rademacher’s latest run as General Hospital‘s Jasper “Jax” Jacks has come to an end, sources tell TVLine. His final episode is scheduled to air on Monday, Nov. 22.
Insiders tell TVLine the move stems from, at the very least, the actor’s preference not to comply with an on-set COVID vaccine mandate that went into effect at the ABC sudser on Nov. 1.
Rademacher throughout much of the pandemic has drawn fire for authoring or sharing social media posts that questioned COVID vaccine efficacy, mandates and passports. In August, in fact, his pattern of social media messaging sparked the launch of a #FireIngo hashtag campaign. Not long after, the Aussie responded with an Instagram video in which he called #FireIngo supporters “bigots” and asserted without complete accuracy, “Mandating any vaccine is wrong but especially one that doesn’t help the spread…. If you want to take the vaccine, take it. Just know you’re doing it for yourself, not to save anyone else.”
Talk of his exit was escalated Monday morning by a tweet from co-star Nancy Lee Grahn, who claimed that Rademacher “is mercifully no longer a part of the #GH cast.” (Grahn’s tweet was in response to trans GH co-star Cassandra James calling out Rademacher for sharing a tweet that was deemed transphobic. Rademacher on Monday afternoon apologized, at least in part, for not redacting the original author’s misgendering of a trans woman.)
SAG actors are currently working under the terms of a pandemic-era Return to Work agreement which states, “Producers may in their discretion implement policies requiring that current and prospective employees in Zone A, studio teachers and others who come into close contact with minors be ‘fully vaccinated’ as a condition of employment where permitted by law.” (Zone A is the area where actors are taped/filmed performing scenes for a TV show or movie, plus the immediate perimeter where crew members work.)
All eyes now are on Rademacher’s castmate Steve Burton, who plays Jason Morgan and claimed in August that he had had tested positive for COVID after being “exposed at work.” While Burton hasn’t expounded on social media, as Rademacher has, there has been unverified speculation that he has thus far chosen not to be vaccinated.
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