It looks like the folks at ABC and corporate parent Disney have finally heard the pleas made by “General Hospital” star Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis Davis). The actress took to Twitter on Friday, September 3 to thank her bosses, particularly the show’s executive producer, Frank Valentini, for “following the science.”
In her tweet, she said, “Thank you @valentinifrank, Dominick Nuzzi, @Disney & @ABCTV for following the science and taking ALL possible measures to ensure the safety of the entire @GeneralHospital cast and crew. Very grateful to be working with all of you. Today is a good day for #GH.” In a follow up tweet she said,” Frank led the charge.” For those wondering, Nuzzi is vice president, production and administration at ABC who oversees both “GH” and “Tamron Hall,” among others.
Grahn’s tweet is seemingly in response to her being vocal about the importance of getting vaccinated. In a tweet from August 12, she revealed, “I work on a set with unmasked, unvaccinated actors, because my union thus far @sagaftra has allowed this. Full stop.” She addressed her message on the matter to union presidential candidates Fran Drescher and Matthew Modine. Drescher has since won the nomination and becomes the union’s next president.
Just one day after Grahn’s August 12 tweet, it was revealed on August 13 that her co-star Steve Burton (Jason Morgan) had tested positive for COVID-19 despite an initial negative test from two days earlier. Burton stated in an Instagram post, “Long story short, I was exposed at work.” In an update on August 17, Burton shared, “All is well. Thanks for the well wishes and prayers! Appreciate it and the fam is great!”
A week or so later, Grahn tweeted, “To be grateful when you’re unvaccinated & getting covid with minimal symptoms & not contaminating or killing ur family or others is like not wearing a seatbelt & walking away from car crash that injured others. Honestly, how much more pointed could I be?” It wasn’t clear if Grahn’s tweet was referring to anything related to “GH” at the time.
In late August, Grahn’s “GH” co-star Ingo Rademacher (Jasper “Jax” Jacks) posted a series of messages on Instagram, including several videos on his Instagram stories, showing support against vaccine mandates or passports and calling those using the hashtag #FireIngo “morons” and “bigots” for trying to get him fired from the daytime drama series.
Over five videos shared on his Instagram stories on August 23, Rademacher said, “Oh, my goodness! The Twitter world… the cesspool of cyberbullying at its finest. Unbelievable. The post that I made yesterday was not anti-vaccine.” He further commented, “Let me be clear. It was not anti-vaccine. It was anti-vaccine passport slash mandate. Okay, I’m not for that. I think if you want to take the vaccine if you think you’re going to die from the virus go ahead and take the vaccine but know that taking the vaccine does not stop you from spreading the virus to others — there are plenty of breakthrough cases and I won’t get into the details but I know of personal ones, believe me, and all over the world.”
On August 25, Rademacher said in an Instagram post, “So, I’m going to address all of the morons that hashtag ‘fire ingo.’ I want to address you. I really… I dislike you at this point. I think that you’re bigots, and I think you know it.”
“To do something [using the hashtag] like that to another person just shows the kind of character you have, the kind of person that you are… you’re a horrible, horrible person, first of all. But, that said, I would never in a million years do that to you,” Rademacher said, adding, “Try to reverse the roles just for a bit and think that because we have a difference of opinion, I now went to your boss and said, ‘You should fire that person because I believe my opinion is right and my opinion should be the only one that counts.’ If you were in charge of this country you’d be a dictator. It’s not a democracy anymore when you can’t have open debate about something. You can disagree but what you can’t do is go to my boss and say fire me because I have a difference of opinion. That’s crossing the line, okay, now you’re a bigot.”
In response to a report by Deadline spotlighting what has been going on at “GH,” “Law & Order: SVU” showrunner Warren Light said on August 28, “No actors or crew should have to work with unmasked, unvaccinated actors. Period.” His post was liked nearly 2,000 times and received multiple responses from actors in the daytime community, including Grahn, Greg Rikaart (“The Young and the Restless,” “Days of our Lives”), Chrishell Stause (“Y&R,” “DAYS,” “All My Children”), and Judi Evans (“DAYS,” “Another World”), among others.
In response to other comments made under Light’s post, Grahn said on August 29, allegedly referring to Rademacher, “He is not only unvaxed actor. There are several.” Her response was based on Twitter user @Elle3110 saying, “This actor has been super problematic in many other ways (comments with thinly veiled racism, sexism, etc.). This is just the latest, and most significant because it impacts the health of others.” In another response, Grahn shared, “There are several unvaxed actors on my set as well as the other soaps,” but it looks like that’s been taken care of.
According to another August 29 tweet, Grahn said, “I think they’re taking care of that,” when Twitter user @FDRAKEJR1 commented on Grahn’s post about Al Roker working during hurricane Ida in New Orleans. The poster said, “They also make you work with anti-vaxxers,” in response to Grahn saying, “When my boss gets mad at me he just sends me to prison every other week to do exposition for other character storylines.”
Earlier today, Light responded to a tweet by Twitter user @LisaSpacaj, who uses hashtag #MAGA on her Twitter profile, and said of Rademacher, “He has a right not to get vaccinated. Our cast and crew have a right not to work alongside people more likely to get and transmit Covid.” Grahn responded to Light’s latest tweet, saying, “So true. There was also several more he’s and she’s who chose not to be vaccinated. Only one said it aloud.”
Grahn’s tweet thanking her bosses for “following the science” seems to confirm chatter of some sort of vaccine mandate being put in place at “GH,” with word that the other soaps may soon follow.
Keep following Soap Opera Network for the latest developments.