‘9-1-1’ Actor Rockmond Dunbar Leaves Show Over Vaccine Mandate

'9-1-1' Actor Rockmond Dunbar Leaves Show Over Vaccine Mandate '9-1-1' Actor Rockmond Dunbar Leaves Show Over Vaccine Mandate

Actor Rockmond Dunbar has left the Fox series ''9-1-1'' after refusing to get vaccinated against COVID-19. (Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)

By Luca Cacciatore | Tuesday, 16 November 2021 07:01 PM

Rockmond Dunbar, a cast member of the Fox drama ''9-1-1,'' is leaving the series after more than four seasons over a new policy requiring all actors to be vaccinated against COVID-19, according to Deadline.

Dunbar, 48, requested a medical exemption and later sought a religious exemption from the vaccine to Disney TV Studios' 20th Television, the show's producer and issuer of the mandate. Both pleas were reviewed by the company and rejected.

Dunbar confirmed the circumstances surrounding his departure to Deadline, saying the reason was due to his ''sincerely held beliefs and private medical history.''

''I applied for religious and medical accommodations pursuant to the law and unfortunately was denied by my employer,'' he said. ''I've been an actor in this business for 30 years, but my greatest roles are as a husband and father to our four small children. As a man that walks in faith, I look forward to what the future holds.''

The actor continued, ''I have enjoyed the last five 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.''

A spokesman for 20th Television provided a comment to the outlet, reiterating their support for pandemic-related safety on set.

''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,'' the spokesman told Deadline.

''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.''

Dunbar, who played closeted gay character Michael Grant on the show, was well-liked by the cast and had a long-standing friendship with show co-creator and executive producer Tim Minear.