Just hours after Rockmond Dunbar made his final appearance as a series regular on 9-1-1, the actor is speaking out about the complicated (yet increasingly common) reason behind his departure.
Though our sister site Deadline reports that Dunbar is not an anti-vaxxer, the actor apparently requested both medical and religious exemptions from the show’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate, which were reportedly denied by 20th Television.
Read Dunbar’s full statement below:
“I applied for religious and medical accommodations pursuant to the law and unfortunately was denied by my employer. 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. I have enjoyed the last 5 seasons with this wonderful cast and crew and will cherish the time I’ve been blessed to spend with this series and wish everyone involved nothing but the best.”
20th Television has responded with the following statement: “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.”
Dunbar had been on 9-1-1 since the Fox procedural premiered in 2018. He played Michael, whose marriage to Athena (Angela Bassett) ended when he came out as gay. Michael’s family has since come around to fully support him, even helping to plan his proposal to David in Monday’s episode.
Your thoughts on Dunbar’s statement, as well as Michael’s exit from the show? Drop ’em in a comment below.
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