Veteran actor fired for refusing Covid-19 vaccine sues ABC
A veteran actor is suing ABC for religious discrimination after he was fired from America’s longest-running soap opera for refusing to get vaccinated against Covid-19.
Ingo Rademacher, 50, who starred as Jasper Jacks on General Hospital for 25 years before his dismissal last month, has accused the Disney-owned American Broadcasting Company (ABC) of refusing to accept his exemption request for “sincerely held religious objections to the Covid-19 shots.”
Rademacher is represented by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. – the son of assassinated US Senator Robert F. Kennedy and nephew of former US president John F. Kennedy – along with attorneys John W. Howard and Scott J. Street. The actor’s lawsuit claims ABC “subjected him to half an hour of cross-examination about his religious beliefs and then denied his exemption request, without explanation.”
The lawsuit blasts the network’s decision as “blatantly unlawful” and argued that ABC does not “have the authority to force a medical treatment on its employees against their will,” and would have to offer religious exemption even if it did.
[ABC] cannot discriminate among religions and cannot second-guess the sincerity of one’s religious beliefs. Those actions constitute religious discrimination and violate Mr. Rademacher’s rights
Rademacher also argues that the vaccine mandate violated privacy interests by demanding proof of vaccination from employees.
The actor is seeking compensatory damages and attorney’s fees from ABC, along with “an order declaring ABC’s Covid-19 vaccine mandate unconstitutional.”
Before his dismissal, Rademacher had been the target of a social media campaign to get him fired over his opposition to Covid-19 vaccine mandates. He confirmed his dismissal last week in an Instagram video.
Rademacher’s co-star Steve Burton, who played Jason Morgan on General Hospital for 29 years, was also fired from the show last month after he refused to get vaccinated. Burton applied for both religious and medical exemptions from the vaccine mandate but was refused.
General Hospital has aired continuously since 1963, making it the longest-running US soap opera in history.