Actress Laura Wright, one of the longest-running stars on “General Hospital,” tweeted on Saturday night that the show has let co-star Steve Burton go for not getting vaccinated for hepatitis A. She tweeted a video from an article in the Hollywood Reporter detailing the lawsuit.
In the article, Burton says he was diagnosed with hepatitis A after an episode of “General Hospital” in August 2017. He said that he was given sick-leave for two weeks but he didn’t apply for disability insurance because he was assured that he wouldn’t have to take time off.
“How do you ask someone to comply with a safe and healthy lifestyle and then not provide for them on that level when you allow them to relapse and get sick?” he said.
He also said that, in his 19 years working at “General Hospital,” he never received any information about hepatitis A or vaccinations. He said that he had been a sunbather during the time that he was diagnosed and that he hadn’t had a liver transplant.
Wright also said in her tweet that she herself hadn’t gotten a vaccine for hepatitis A because of a “medical misdiagnosis.”
“It saddens me deeply to see @SteveBurton ‘s story of a health battle due to a serious illness,” she wrote, adding, “The stories that others go through and their resolve to get better should not need to come from one of our dear friends. I feel my hope that we fight harder for healthy bodies & minds has been squandered.”
Burton tweeted that he hoped Wright was praying for him as he suffered from “thousands of hours of brain fog and memory loss” from the disease.
He added, “I also hope you will pray for @LauraWrightABC in the face of such adversity.”
General Hospital tweeted on Monday, “We at GH can confirm that Steve Burton is no longer employed here.” In the tweet, the show added a link to a statement it had posted earlier. It says that the “lawsuit is in question and thus we cannot really comment further.”
The statement continued, “General Hospital was aware of Steve’s past medical issue before his 2017 return to General Hospital. We communicated his medical history with him during that time. While there were only minor differences in our schedules, we were each unable to leave our previous home for too long due to work commitments.”
It then says that the “exact time when there were no interviews was put on [Burton’s] calendar” and that ABC remains confident it will prevail in the case.
Wright responded to Burton’s tweets and wrote on Monday, “Just because you are asking questions, I am not. Just because we have our differences in opinions, we are not fighting. Please respect my privacy now and when I make my own determination about what I want to do.”
In his post, Burton also asked that his followers support anyone who would ask about getting vaccinated. He said he wants to help others who are under vaccinated because it can be “very frightening and debilitating” to be a survivor.
“And we have a responsibility to help,” he wrote.