The Indiana native has played the role of Jason Morgan on the long-running ABC soap opera since 1991. Burton left for a brief period in 2012 to star on CBS’ The Young and The Restless but returned to GH in 2017.
The actor, 51, confirmed his departure from the soap opera via his Instagram on Tuesday, November 23. “I know there’s been a lot of rumors and speculations about me and General Hospital and I wanted you to hear it from me personally,” Burton said.
“Unfortunately, General Hospital has let me go because of the vaccine mandate," the Daytime Emmy Award winning star — who filmed his last episode on October 27 — stated.
In the clip, Burton explained that he was "hurt" after being denied medical and religious exemption from getting the vaccine by production. The Last Castle star further explained that the issue "is also about personal freedom to me.”
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“Maybe one day if these mandates are lifted, I can return and finish my career as Jason Morgan. That would be an honor," Burton said as he thanked loyal fans for their support.
Burton has not been the only cast member to leave General Hospital due to the new restrictions. Ingo Rademacher, who played Jasper “Jax” Jacks, reportedly left due to the shot mandate as well.
In a lead up to his departure, during the Monday, November 22, episode, Burton’s character, Jason Morgan, was declared missing after a tunnel collapse. His last lines to Laura Wright's character Carly were, “I hope you’re staying safe and you come home soon.”