As of Monday, November 1, the previously reported vaccine mandate put in place at “General Hospital” went into full effect, per Nancy Lee Grahn who portrays Alexis Davis on the soap.
According to the actress, the series remains the only daytime drama with a mandate in place. “Smart leaders listen to science & protect their employees,” she said of the show’s executive producer Frank Valentini, executives at ABC and The Walt Disney Company which owns the broadcast network.
Initially noting that there were“no exceptions” for non-compliance, she added to her post to say, “Let me add that exceptions due to many medical issues get sorted out by ABC. They are qualified to make exceptions.”
When a responder commented on some on screen talent being anti-vaccine, Grahn stated, “It is not my place to expound on that. It is there’s. Ask them.”
Last month, Grahn commented on how “proud” she was to work on the only daytime soap opera requiring vaccinations of its cast, crew and other staff members.
Grahn’s co-star Ingo Rademacher (Jasper “Jax” Jacks) has been vocal on social media in recent months about his being against a vaccine mandate which led to a writeup on Deadline (“Covid Controversy Checks In To ABC’s ‘General Hospital’ When Cast Clash Over Vax Mandate”), an entertainment trade whose reporting later got the attention of several industry heavyweights, particularly “Law & Order: SVU” showrunner Warren Light, who said on August 28 in response to the Deadline article, “No actors or crew should have to work with unmasked, unvaccinated actors. Period.”
A few days after posting, Light responded to a tweet by a Twitter user who uses the hashtag #MAGA on their 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.”
SAG-AFTRA, the union representing actors, along with the DGA (Directors Guild of America), IATSE (International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts), Teamsters and Basic Crafts unions are currently working under a Return to Work (RTW) agreement first initiated jointly with AMPTP (Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers) in September 2020.
Initially set to expire on September 30, 2021, the agreement was later extended and remains in place through at least November 30, 2021. On the stance of mandatory vaccinations, it’s stated under the protocols that “Producers may in their discretion implement policies requiring that current and prospective employees in Zone A, studio teachers and others who come into close contact with minors be ‘fully vaccinated’ as a condition of employment where permitted by law. The Teamsters will make best efforts to ensure that fully vaccinated drivers are available for vehicles that convey cast.” Zone A is an area in which individuals come into close proximity with those working on sets where wearing a face mask is not expected while filming.
See Grahn’s tweets below.