It would seem that Robert Palmer Watkins (Dillon Quartermaine) is a lot like fashion. One day he's in... and the next he's out. And if you wait long enough, he might just be back in.
In early August, General Hospital fans were blindsided when it was revealed that Watkins was exiting the show. After all, the actor had announced only a few weeks earlier that he was taking a few weeks off to film a movie.
Fans took to social media and the Soap Central message boards to demand that the ABC soap reconsider its decision and re-hire Watkins. For his part, Watkins seemed to take everything in stride. The actor stated it was "not [his] decision to leave the show" but saw it as an opportunity to light a fire under his feet to find other acting opportunities.
While it's unclear if the fan uprising has caused the powers that be at General Hospital to reassess the situation, it hasn't stopped the rumor mill. One particular rumor that seems to have gained traction comes from speculation that Watkins could remain a part of the GH canvas on a recurring basis. The news would certainly please fans, but if it's true, Watkins knows nothing about it.
"In response to the article that came out [recently]...I have no confirmation as of now as to whether or not I'm staying on GH," Watkins shared on Instagram. "I'd be happy to stick around Port Charles but nothing is confirmed as of now. Appreciate all of your love though."
Later, Watkins took to Twitter to reiterate that the concept of remaining on GH was something he liked. However, it is not something that has been mentioned to him from anyone at the show.
"Well this is cool," Watkins said of the report while tagging GH executive producer Frank Valentini on the post. "I have not heard yay or nay on anything but I'd love to stick around Port Charles."
It is not unheard of for actors to be dropped from contract status only to remain with the show on a recurring basis. Contrary to reports that an actor on recurring status would see less airtime, a contract player does not necessarily have to appear on-screen more than an actor on recurring status. The real difference is salary, compensation, and the obligations a show has to the actor and vice versa.
Cady McClain appeared as a front-burner character during much of her time on As the World Turns and won an Emmy -- all while on recurring. Tracey Bregman chose to be on recurring status with The Young and the Restless for years so that she would have the flexibility to tackle another role: mom.
ABC has yet to respond to requests for comment on Watkins' status with the show, though the network typically does not comment on casting decisions.
Meanwhile, Watkins has finished up his movie project and is back on set at GH. In a Twitter posting, Watkins pondered the possibilities. "Somebody's back on set today" along with a caption that he will be taping through October," the actor wrote. After that, though, the future remains uncertain.
Remember that all Internet rumors should be taken with a grain of salt -- even if you really want them to be true. When there is definitive news about this or any soap news story, you can count on Soap Central to bring it you as we have been doing for the last 22 years.
What do you think about the fact that Watkins has been let go from GH? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.