Rockmond Dunbar has left 9-1-1 due to the show's COVID-19 vaccination mandate.
Variety reports that Dunbar's character Michael Grant was written off the show after Dunbar had disagreements regarding 20th Television's new COVID-19 protocols requiring actors to be vaccinated. He attempted to get both religious and medical exemptions but was denied.
Dunbar issued a statement about why he refused to get vaccinated, writing that he doesn't want to be put in a position to express his personal beliefs.
"I've been an actor in this business for 30 years, but my greatest roles are as a husband and father to our 4 small children. As a man that walks in faith, I look forward to what the future holds," he continued. "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."
"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 4 small children. As a man that walks in faith, I look forward to what the future holds,” he continued. “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 also issued a statement, saying, “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.”
The official 9-1-1 Twitter page also gave Dunbar a send off, writing, "We're gonna miss you, Michael!" with a video clip attached.
The protocol goes in line with Hollywood's stricter rules around COVID-19 vaccinations, which are also following CDC guidelines.
The guidelines are also causing problems for other actors who are upset about the mandate, including Black Panther: Wakanda Forever star Letitia Wright. The new guidelines state that immigrants must be vaccinated before entering the country, and due to a set injury, Wright has been recuperating in London. Wright has been vocal online about her fear of vaccination, and the new guidelines will certainly affect how the film gets finished.