Rockmond Dunbar has exited Fox’s television series “9-1-1” after neglecting to uphold the COVID-19 vaccine mandate on set. Requirements of the show states that all of the actors need to be vaccinated to participate, but, as a response, Dunbar applied for a medical and religious exemption, which the studios are rarely giving approvals for, and Dunbar was denied.
On Monday, his character on the hit series, Michael Grant, was written off the show with Grant deciding to move to Haiti.
The “Soul Food” actor confirmed his departure in a statement to Deadline on Nov. 16.
“I applied for religious and medical accommodations pursuant to the law and unfortunately was denied by my employer,” Dunbar said. “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. I’ve been an actor in this business for 30 years, but my greatest roles are as a husband and father to our four small children. As a man that walks in faith, I look forward to what the future holds.”
Studio 20th Television issued its own statement on the matter: “We 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.”
On Nov. 10, The Hollywood Reporter revealed that studios were starting to get stricter about COVID-19 vaccine mandates. One producer told the outlet, “We’re really only considering those who are vaccinated. We will not engage with anyone who is not vaccinated.”
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