Steve Burton says "General Hospital" fired him because he wouldn't get the COVID-19 vaccine. File Photo by Christine Chew/UPI | License Photo
Nov. 24 (UPI) -- Longtime General Hospital star Steve Burton announced on Instagram that the ABC soap opera fired him because he refused to adhere to its COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
"Unfortunately, General Hospital has let me go because of the vaccine mandate," Burton said in a video Tuesday.
"I did apply for my medical and religious exemptions and both of those were denied, which hurts. But this is also about personal freedom to me. I don't think anyone should lose their livelihood over this."
Several prominent soap icons left supportive comments on the post.
Maurice Benard wrote: "It takes Lotta guts. i will miss you."
"Love you brother," said Cameron Mathison.
Finola Hughes shared heart and kiss symbols.
"Well said my friend," said Ingo Rademacher.
Burton, 51, also said in his video that he was grateful for his time on GH and is excited about what the future will bring.
The Daytime Emmy winner played Jason Morgan on the drama from 1992 to 2010 and from 2017 until now.
Deadline.com said Burton had the virus in August.
Variety reported that Rademacher, who played Jasper "Jax" Jacks for decades, was also dropped from GH earlier this month after he refused to comply with the vaccine mandate and sparked a backlash with controversial political posts.