Former ‘9-1-1’ Actor Rockmond Dunbar Sues Disney, 20th for Racial Discrimination Over Vaccine Mandate

Actor claims that company didn’t sack other un-vaxxed actors on the Fox drama

Rockmond Dunbar
Rockmond Dunbar (Fox)

Former “9-1-1” cast member Rockmond Dunbar has filed a federal lawsuit against show producer Disney and 20th Entertainment, accusing the companies of racially discriminating against him by not granting him a religious and medical exemption to their COVID vaccine mandate.

In his suit, filed Wednesday in the Western division of U.S. District Court Central District of California, Dunbar accused the companies of racial discrimination since, he claims, “non-minority employees similarly situated were not subject to termination by avoiding the COVID-19 vaccine.”

Dunbar is alleging that he was improperly dismissed from the primetime drama last fall and has suffered severe damage to his career. He is seeking more than $1 million in residual and contractual payments, according to

A rep for 20th Television released this statement in response to the lawsuit: “To ensure safe working environments at our productions we have implemented a mandatory vaccination confirmation process. While we will not comment on any one individual, each request for exemption is given a thorough review and we grant accommodations consistent with our legal obligations. There are no differences in our process or decision-making based on an employee’s race.” 

Rockmond claimed that he submitted paperwork seeking both a religious and medical exemption for the COVID-19 vaccine, and said producers told him they would adjust his schedule to accommodate him — but then reneged on that agreement and wrote him off the show altogether.

The actor, who had played Michael Grant, the ex-husband of Athena (Angela Bassett) since 2018, issued a statement after his exit in November. “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.”

At the time, 20th Television responded: “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’s final episode saw his character flying to Haiti to join his fiancé, David.

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.