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Vaccine mandates stance allegedly gets General Hospital soap star removed from show

Vaccine mandates stance allegedly gets General Hospital soap star removed from show
Popular US soap opera General Hospital is said to be parting ways with one of its veteran actors. Ingo Rademacher is reportedly out over his rejection of vaccine mandates, and a side serving of transphobia accusations.

Rademacher, a German-born Australian actor, has been a fixture of General Hospital since 1996 – which is a long time, but not compared to the longevity of ABC’s popular show, which premiered in 1963. Rumors of the actor’s looming departure have been swirling for some time now and have now been confirmed by a cast member.

Rademacher “is mercifully no longer a part of the #gh cast”, actress Nancy Lee Grahn tweeted on Sunday, before blasting him for “transphobia & misgendering.” She was responding to an infuriated post by fellow cast member Cassandra James, who referred to Rademacher without naming him and said that “misgendering trans folks is violence.” James is a trans woman who plays a trans character in General Hospital, a first for the show.

Both were apparently talking about Rademacher sharing a sarcastic tweet by conservative podcaster Allie Beth Stuckey on his Instagram stories. Last week she said that claiming the career achievements of trans woman General Rachel Levine were empowering women and calling black Republican lieutenant governor-elect of Virginia Winsome Sears a white supremacist amounted to a “ClownTown”.

Being "violent" to trans people, however, is reportedly not the reason why Rademacher is leaving General Hospital. He is a vocal opponent of vaccine mandates, and the show started demanding vaccination from all people involved in production some time ago, following the example of its parent company, Disney. A full mandate came into force on November 1.

In August, Rademacher said the people who tried to pressure the show's management to fire him with a social media hashtag campaign were “morons” and “bigots.” 

“I would never in a million years do that to you,” he said. “It’s not a democracy anymore when you can’t have an open debate about something.”

The actor is not opposed to vaccines themselves but believes forcing people to take one is inherently against their personal liberties. He also vehemently opposes any sort of Covid-19 passports. His latest Instagram post pledges to stand with people who “fight for medical freedom.”

Rademacher has never publicly revealed his own vaccination status. Fans have speculated for some time that his character, Jasper Jacks, could soon be written out of the TV series because of the actor’s clashes with showrunners’ rules and fellow cast members who disagree with him.

Vaccine mandates are one of the divisive battlefields in the US. Many proponents of the mandates say skeptics are the reason why the country cannot curb new infections and deaths and return to normalcy. Opponents argue that no vaccines can fully protect against getting Covid-19 and that taking or not taking them is a personal choice that must not be forced upon them.

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