Ingo Rademacher (Jasper "Jax" Jacks) is suing ABC over the network's vaccine policy, calling the mandate a violation of his right to privacy and a form of religious discrimination under the California Constitution.
Rademacher filed suit in Los Angeles, claiming that he was unlawfully denied an exemption from the vaccine mandate for religious reasons. The former GH star states that he sat down for a 30-minute interview with the network to prove his religious status. The network did not approve the exemption. According to the lawsuit, ABC's questioning the sincerity of Rademacher's beliefs amounts to religious discrimination.
"I am entitled to a religious exemption against mandatory vaccination for COVID-19 on the basis of my deeply and sincerely held moral belief that my body is endowed by my creator with natural processes to protect me and that its natural integrity cannot ethically be violated by the administration of artificially created copies of genetic material, foreign to nature and experimental," Rademacher wrote in an Oct. 11 email to Disney's Human Resources department. Disney is the parent company of ABC.
Steve Burton (Jason Morgan) confirmed last month that he had also been let go from the show for refusing to comply with the vaccine mandate. In an Instagram video, Burton revealed that he had applied for religious and medical exemptions, but that ABC had denied them. Burton has not given any indication if he plans to pursue his own legal action against ABC.
Though Rademacher lists a variety of political components in laying the groundwork for his lawsuit, the suits insists that "[t]his should not be a political issue. There is no need for everybody to get the COVID-19 shot, even if the president demands it."
Rademacher's argument that the vaccines are experimental might prove problematic. Allison Hoffman, a professor of law at University of Pennsylvania who specializes in health law, states that these complaints "are not very strong legal arguments," noting that employers can legally require workers to get the shots because the FDA has approved the usage of the vaccines. Even prior to the FDA's approval, the vaccines were granted emergency use authorization (EUA), which meant the shot was safe enough for the public.
Additionally, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected challenges brought by a group of Christian doctors and nurses and an organization that promotes vaccine skepticism to New York's refusal to allow religious exemptions to the state's mandate that healthcare workers be vaccinated against COVID-19. The Supreme Court previously rejected other challenges to vaccine mandates including one brought against Maine's lack of a religious exemption for healthcare workers.
Rademacher is represented by John W. Howard, an attorney who has filed several lawsuits challenging vaccine mandates, and Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
Rademacher originated the role of GH's Jax in 1996 and remained on contract with the show through 2000, when he exited to explore other projects. He returned a year later before being let go in 2011. He has been playing the character on-again, off-again since.
Soap Central has reached out to ABC for comment.
What do you think of Rademacher's lawsuit? Do you believe that ABC has a right to institute a vaccine policy? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.