Former ‘9-1-1’ actor Rockmond Dunbar sues Disney, Fox over COVID vaccine mandate
The actor’s character was written off of ‘9-1-1’ last year following the COVID-19 protocols implemented by 20th Television and Disney
Following his very public departure from the Fox show 9-1-1, Rockmond Dunbar is now suing 20th Television and Disney for discrimination over their vaccine mandates, per Deadline.
As theGrio previously reported, Dunbar was written off 9-1-1 due to Disney’s COVID-19 safety protocols. At the time, the actor shared that he had applied for medical and religious exemptions for being unvaccinated, but ultimately was denied.
He said at the time, “My sincerely held beliefs and private medical history are very intimate and personal aspects of my life that I do not publicly discuss and have no desire to start now.”
Dunbar has officially sued 20th Television and Disney, “claiming the studio engaged in discrimination, including mocking his religious beliefs, barring him from the set and hampering his ability to get other work.”
The lawsuit reads, “In retaliation, Defendants summarily terminated Mr. Dunbar’s employment agreement, and refused to pay him the hundreds of thousands of dollars that are still owed to him.”
The lawsuit then claims that the companies “wanted to make an example” out of Dunbar and leaked negative information about the actor.
“Defendants deliberately made it sound like Mr. Dunbar was a recalcitrant anti-vaxxer, rather than present the truth – that like millions of other Americans, he is a sincere adherent to a non-mainstream religious belief that prevents him from being vaccinated,” the lawsuit continues.
It then goes on to claim that the company violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the California Fair Employment Housing Act and common law principles of contract law. Dunbar is seeking, “‘over $1.3 million in compensation owed to him under the contract,’ as well as wide-ranging other damages and injunctions in the civil rights-based action,” according to the Deadline report.
Like most industries, Hollywood has to contend with the COVID-19 pandemic while attempting to make their workplaces safe.
A spokesperson for 20th Century Television shared in a statement when Dunbar’s departure was announced, that they “take the health and safety of all of our employees very seriously and have implemented a mandatory vaccination confirmation process for those working in Zone A on our productions. In order to ensure a safer workplace for all, Zone A personnel who do not confirm their vaccination status and do not meet the criteria for exemption will not be eligible to work.”
Per Deadline, Dunbar’s departure from the show left room for him to return. But in his statement after he was let go from the show, he sounded resolute about his decision.
“I’ve been an actor in this business for 30 years, but my greatest roles are as a husband and father to our 4 small children. As a man that walks in faith, I look forward to what the future holds.”
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