‘General Hospital’: No Plans to Recast Steve Burton’s Role After Exit Over Vaccine Mandate

Steve Burton in General Hospital
Carol Kaelson / ©ABC / courtesy Everett Collection

Despite actor Steve Burton‘s recent firing, ABC‘s General Hospital has no intention of recasting his character, Jason Morgan, according to Variety.

Burton, who has appeared on the daytime soap opera off and on since 1991, was let go following his refusal to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Burton was the second actor, following Ingo Rademacher, that refused to follow the show’s vaccine mandate, which went into effect on November 1, causing them both to be fired.

Rademacher’s character, Jax, who has appeared on the show since 1996, announced his exit in the November 22 episode. “I’m kind of on the outs with everyone in Port Charles right now,” said Jax before revealing he is leaving the fictional city for business reasons.

On the other hand, Burton featured in his last episode on November 19, when a tunnel on Cassadine Island collapsed on Jason, presumably killing him. This week’s episodes have seen the show’s other characters mourning Jason’s presumed death.

A week ago, Burton took to Instagram to reveal that he’d chosen to be fired rather than get vaccinated, claiming it was a matter of “personal freedom.” However, he did state that he would be open to returning to the soap in the future. “Maybe one day, if these mandates are lifted, I can return and finish my career as Jason Morgan,” he said. “That would be an honor.”

It certainly wouldn’t be the first time General Hospital has brought a character back from the dead. And, in the case of Jason, his body wasn’t actually seen on screen. “There was just a pile of rocks and beams. They had crews on site within an hour, and they had their scanning equipment there. They couldn’t pick up a heartbeat,” said Drew (Cameron Mathison), leaving open the possibility that Jason could still be alive.

General Hospital, Weekdays, ABC