Rockmond Dunbar, an original member of Fox’s ‘9-1-1,’ has exited the show over his refusal to get a COVID-19 vaccine, Variety has confirmed.
His character, Michael Grant, was written off Monday evening’s show due to differences about new COVID protocols on the show. The show, produced by 20th Television, now requires actors to be vaccinated.
“I applied for religious and medical accommodations pursuant to the law and unfortunately was denied by my employer,” Dunbar said in a statement. “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. 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.”
Fox and 20th Television confirmed his departure, which the social media account for the show tweeted about last night.
Dunbar had reportedly sought a religious and then a medical exemption, but those requests were denied.
“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,” 20th Television said in a statement. “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.”
Now in its fifth season, ‘9-1-1’ debuted in January 2018 and stars Angela Bassett and Peter Krause. It has won awards including consecutive Image Awards for Bassett in 2020 and 2021.
Dunbar has previously appeared in shows including “The Mentalist,” “Sons of Anarchy,” “Prison Break” and “For Richer or Poorer.” He has received two Image Award nominations, one for “Sons of Anarchy” and another for his performance in “Raising Izzie.”
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