One of the longtime General Hospital actors fired from the iconic soap opera last month for refusing to get vaccinated against Covid-19 has filed a lawsuit against ABC claiming the production’s on-set mandate violates his civil rights.
Ingo Rademacher, who has played Jasper “Jax” Jacks on the daytime show for more than two decades, had his contract terminated Nov. 5 after he submitted a request for a religious exemption that was denied, according to his lawsuit filed Monday in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
A copy of his exemption request letter was attached to the complaint and obtained by Rolling Stone.
“I am entitled to a religious exemption against mandatory vaccination for Covid-19 on the basis of my deeply and sincerely held moral belief that my body is endowed by my creator with natural processes to protect me and that its integrity cannot ethically be violated by the administration of artificially created copies of genetic material, foreign to nature and experimental,” it reads.
According to his lawsuit, “There is no need for everybody to get the Covid-19 shot, even if the president demands it.”
He was not alone in losing his job due to his outspoken revolt against the mandate. Fellow General Hospital actor Steve Burton, who played Jason Morgan, said in an Instagram post last month that he also was let go for refusal to comply with the rule for actors who work unmasked on set.
An ABC spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Rolling Stone.
General Hospital is not alone in asking its actors to get vaccinated against Covid-19, but there’s still no uniform requirement for the film and TV industry.
Rademacher faced prior controversy for sharing a transphobic post on his Instagram Stories that misgendered U.S. Assistant Secretary for Health Rachel Levine, the nation’s first openly transgender person to hold an office requiring Senate confirmation.
That post led his General Hospital costar Cassandra James, a trans actress who portrays Dr. Terry Randolph on the soap, to express her disappointment online.
I am aware of a transphobic post shared by a fellow General Hospital actor. Shame on you. You have some serious unlearning and education to do. I feel deeply disappointed that such a public display of ignorance could come from our GH family.
— Cassandra James (@cassandrajames_) November 8, 2021
“Shame on you. You have some serious unlearning and education to do,” she wrote in a tweet to Rademacher last month. Rademacher responded with an Instagram video that apologized for “not crossing out ‘dude’ and putting ‘transgender.'”