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Steve Burton Says He Was "Let Go" From General Hospital Over Vaccine Mandate

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Steve Burton said he was fired from General Hospital over the show's vaccine requirement.

The actor, who has played Jason Morgan off and on for nearly 30 years, spoke out on Instagram after his exit due to the COVID-19 safety protocol.

"Well, I know there's been a lot of rumors and speculations about me and General Hospital," he began in his video, "and I wanted you to hear it from me personally. Unfortunately, General Hospital has let me go, because of the vaccine mandate."

Burton, 51, explained that he tried to remain onset through other methods: "I did apply for my medical and religious exemptions and both of those were denied, which, you know, hurts. But this is also about personal freedom to me. I don't think anybody should lose their livelihood over this."

He added that he'll "always be grateful" for his time on General Hospital. "I love it there. I grew up there. I grew up with some of you," Burton said. "I am excited to see what the future brings."

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He also suggested that he wants to return if "these mandates are lifted." The Young and the Restless actor said, "That would be an honor. And if not, I'm going to take this amazing experience, move forward and be forever grateful."

Burton doesn't know when his last episode will air.

Steve Burton, General Hospital
(ABC/Todd Wawrychuk)

"I want you guys to have an awesome Thanksgiving," he concluded. "I know it's hard, maybe, in this type of situation, to be thankful or grateful. But we have so many things to be thankful about and being grateful, it really is the key. Love you guys."

His co-star, Nancy Lee Grahn, addressed his departure on Twitter and seemingly defended the mandate. "It is other people's business if a person's actions due to their 'beliefs' can directly affect the wellbeing of their loved ones, possible causing them to get seriously ill or die," she wrote.

Other General Hospital cast members showed him support in the comment section of his Instagram video, including Katelyn MacMullen, Josh Swickard and Maurice Benard, who wrote, "It takes Lotta guts i [will] miss you."

Per Deadline, co-star Ingo Rademacher previously left over the show's COVID-19 vaccine requirement.

E! News has reached out to ABC for comment.

For the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic and for tips on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19, please visit The Center for Disease Control and Prevention at https://www.cdc.gov. To plan your vaccine, head to NBC's Plan Your Vaccine site at PlanYourVaccine.com.

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