“General Hospital” star Ingo Rademacher has exited the ABC soap opera after 25 years of playing the character Jasper “Jax” Jacks after refusing to comply with the production’s COVID vaccine mandate, an individual close to the soap told TheWrap.
Rademacher following his months-long anti-vaccination stance, which became widely publicized after his co-star Steve Burton tested positive for COVID-19 in August. Burton said he contracted COVID-19 at work from a fellow cast member. Meanwhile, Rademacher tweeted about his own unvaccinated status and criticized calls for him to be fired over his decision.
Australian actor Rademacher will continue appearing on upcoming episodes of “General Hospital” that were filmed before his exit. His final episode will air on Nov. 22.
Reps for ABC confirmed to TheWrap that Rademacher ended his association with “General Hospital” prior to Sunday but had no further comment regarding his exit from the show. Rademacher did not respond to a direct-message request for comment.
“General Hospital” co-star Nancy Lee Grahn revealed that Rademacher, who has been very openly opposed to the vax mandate, is “mercifully no longer a part of the #gh cast” on Sunday, while sharing a tweet written by her “General Hospital” co-star Cassandra James about a “transphobic post” that Rademacher had shared on social media.
James had tweeted: “I am aware of a transphobic post shared by a fellow General Hospital actor. Shame on you. You have some serious unlearning and education to do. I feel deeply disappointed that such a public display of ignorance could come from our GH family.”
“Misgendering trans folks is violence and if you come for one of us, you come for all of us,” James said in a threaded tweet. “The cis world doesn’t get to decide which of us is valuable. I am so proud of the fans for always holding us to a high standard, for calling out transphobia and violence.”
“The fellow actor, #IngoRademacher, is mercifully no longer a part of the #gh cast,” Grahn wrote late Sunday, in a quote-tweet of James’ original tweet. “Transphobia & misgendering are disgusting & should be unacceptable in any industry, including soaps/acting. I stand with my costar, @cassandrajames, & the trans community.”
Grahn did not specify what led to Rademacher’s exit from “General Hospital,” which the Australian actor has been part of since 1996, beyond noting he had departed the show.
The post in question, which was first tweeted by conservative podcast host Allie Beth Stuckey and was shared by Rademacher on his Instagram Stories on Sunday, featured side-by-side images of Dr. Rachel Levine, the first openly trans four-star officer to serve in any of the nation’s eight uniformed services, and Winsome Sears, who was last week elected Virginia’s first Black woman Lieutenant Governor.
“Hello, and welcome to ClownTown, where the dude on the left is an empowering woman, and the woman on the right is a white supremacist,” Stuckey wrote in the tweet, which was then shared by Rademacher.
“Always search for the truth and be open to the fact it might come from a source you might not always agree with,” Rademacher wrote in an Instagram Stories slide that came just before he shared Stuckey’s tweet.
Following backlash on Monday, Rademacher posted a video to Instagram, which you can view here, apologizing for not crossing out the word “dude” in the tweet about Levine.
But the actor also criticized the “hypocrisy of the left-wing media,” repeated derogatory descriptions of trans women and defended the argument behind the post he shared. “While its not OK to call a Black woman a white supremacist, I don’t think either that its OK to call a transgender an empowered woman because where does that leave woman?” Rademacher said in the three-minute video. “Women have fought so hard to get on a level playing field with men. They weren’t allowed to do anything back in the day, they were nothing. So I don’t agree with that.”
See screenshots of Rademacher’s recent Instagram Stories below, which include the transphobic tweet, as well as several anti-vaccine mandate posts.
For the record: This post has been updated to reflect that Rademacher’s exit from “General Hospital” followed his refusal to comply with the production’s vaccine mandate.