GH Weigh In: Now That ABC’s Health Mandate Is Over, Will Steve Burton Return?Published on November 8, 2022.
ABC’s parent company, Disney, has quietly lifted its health mandate, meaning that cast and crew on shows like General Hospital (GH) no longer need to get the jab in order to work on set. Could this move signal the return of Steve Burton? It’s very likely! Vote in our poll below and let us know what you think!
One year ago, reports first emerged that former GH actors Ingo Rademacher and Steve Burton were at risk of losing their jobs because they declined to comply with ABC’s health mandate. At first, many viewers dismissed the chatter as speculation. However, both performers were fired within weeks.
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Although Rademacher and Burton both tried valiantly to claim that their refusal to comply with the mandate was on the basis of religious freedoms, everything they did following their firings was polar opposite of one another.
Rademacher got himself in trouble by reposting a transphobic meme, appearing on Tucker Carlson Tonight and finally suing ABC. Burton, on the other hand, expressed his gratitude to the soap and moved on to new opportunities.
So, now that Disney has just dropped the health mandate which caused such a volatile situation on the set of GH, could Steve Burton reprise the iconic role of Jason Morgan? There are many indications that he will.
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Before the ink had even dried on Burton’s pink slip back in November 2021, the actor already sounded game to return to GH in the future.
“I am excited to see what the future brings,” Burton stated at the time, “and maybe one day, if these mandates are lifted, I can return and finish my career as Jason Morgan. That would be an honor.”
Since his dismissal, Burton has maintained his relationships in daytime drama, starring in this summer’s Days Of Our Lives: Beyond Salem Chapter 2. If his Instagram is anything to go by, the star also remains tight with GH co-stars like Finola Hughes (Anna), Laura Wright (Carly) and Bradford Anderson (Spinelli).
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Burton’s willingness to return is one thing, but obviously the decision rests with GH. And if recent episodes offer any indication, the ABC soap is definitely testing the waters for a Jason Morgan comeback.
Morgan has been mentioned several times over the past two months. Sonny reflected on losing his right-hand man after Brando was hooked. Carly and Joss have also been mourning him. Why else would GH writers keep his name on viewers’ minds, if not for a potential return?
Let the recent comeback of Emma Samms (Holly Sutton) serve as a reminder that executive producer Frank Valentini is loyal to cast members. When the global health crisis left Samms chronically ill, Valentini put a pin in Holly’s storyline for two years until she could return.
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Now let’s look at Morgan’s storyline at the time of Burton’s firing: the character had finally taken his long-standing friendship with Carly to the next level, instigating a major love triangle between the two and Sonny. Then, he was buried in the tunnels under Cassadine Island, and no body was ever found.
Beyond that abrupt storyline pause, Morgan’s absence has been keenly felt because no other character has managed to fill his shoes. Brando Corbin (Johnny Wactor) appeared to be stepping into Jason’s role, next to Sonny, until he was axed from the show.
Meanwhile, Drew Cain’s return (with recast Cameron Mathison) has done little to fill the void left by Burton. Even Cain’s romance with Carly, which GH has been heavily promoting, doesn’t have the chemistry that the former Mrs. Corinthos had with Morgan.
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Speaking of chemistry, some viewers have noted the potential for Morgan to reconnect with Elizabeth (Rebecca Herbst). Sure, Ms. Webber is currently in a shaky romance with Finn (Michael Easton), but the good doctor can’t compete with this former super couple pairing.
Burton’s return would prove a bankable success for the soap. However, not all viewers would tune in out of excitement or curiosity. Some GH fans feel that Burton should not return for political reasons; namely, that his stance on “personal freedoms” puts other people in danger.
So, will Burton soon return to GH, now that ABC’s health mandate is over?
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