If you're a fan of General Hospital's Vinessa Antoine (Jordan Ashford), get ready for some good news and bad news. First, the good news. The Toronto-born actress has landed the lead in a new drama series set to air on the CBC. The bad news? It means Antoine will be exiting her role as the head of the Port Charles Police Department.
In the new series, called Diggstown, Antoine will play Marcie Diggs, a top corporate lawyer who decides to dedicate herself to a legal aid office in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Antoine will make history as the first Black Canadian actress to star in a primetime drama on legacy network television, according to the CBC.
"I'm just very excited to be chosen to do this," Antoine told the Toronto Star. "I think it's something that's been long overdue. But everything is changing right now and it's definitely time."
Diggstown showrunner and creator Floyd Kane adds, "This will be the first time that a Black Canadian actress will be No. 1 on the call sheet. I think it's a big deal. Although at the end of the day, yes, we're just making TV. But from a pop culture perspective, I feel this is important."
According to the Star, the series will look at an underrepresented segment of Canada: the historic Black communities of Nova Scotia.
This history-making development, however, could come at the expense of another television first. Antoine says she is unsure what the future will hold for her General Hospital character. She and on-screen love interest Donnell Turner (Curtis Ashford) were set to take a walk down the aisle, but now all of that is in doubt.
"We were in the planning stages of the wedding and ABC hasn't announced what will happen," Antoine shared. "But it's a soap opera and something traumatic always happens at a wedding. But it would have been a first for a Black couple to be married on General Hospital, but we're not sure where the storyline is going."
When Diggstown begins shooting in August, Antoine will no longer be on contract at General Hospital. In a series of tweets, Antoine revealed that she had been open to recurring on General Hospital, but show execs felt that Antoine's schedule and that of the soap did not mesh, and the two sides agreed to amicably part ways.
"I was told by my reps that @GeneralHospital felt that my character would be off the canvas for too long for me to continue playing her. With that, we decided to mutually part ways," Antoine wrote. "It's time to make room for more women of color in prominent roles on television."
Though implied in Antoine's tweets, there has been no confirmation that General Hospital will recast Jordan. ABC does not comment on contracts.
(1) There are so many people that God put into place who are directly and indirectly responsible for my time at @GeneralHospital You know who you are. I thank you. I came into this world as an artist. My job is to create and inspire. I hope that I did that a little in pic.twitter.com/8rDDUAc4t5— Vinessa Antoine (@VinessaAntoine) July 16, 2018
(2) playing #JordanAshford. I believe that I have taken her as far as I can. To clarify, as negotiations for #Diggstown were underway, although I am open to stay and play in Port Charles, I was told by my reps that @GeneralHospital felt that my character— Vinessa Antoine (@VinessaAntoine) July 16, 2018
(3) would be off the canvas for too long for me to continue playing her. With that, we decided to mutually part ways. It's time to make room for more women of color in prominent roles on television. I'm grateful to assist in that by starting— Vinessa Antoine (@VinessaAntoine) July 16, 2018
(4) this new chapter in my journey. I hope you'll all come along. I feel blessed. Be well. xo— Vinessa Antoine (@VinessaAntoine) July 16, 2018
One of Antoine's colleagues, a fellow Canadian, took time out to offer her thoughts on social media.
"I cannot begin to tell you how proud & happy I am for you," Kathleen Gati (Liesl Obrecht) wrote. "You have been one of the kindest colleagues @GeneralHospital & I will forever be grateful for your friendship, warmth & wonderful heart!"
I cannot begin to tell you how proud & happy I am for you @VinessaAntoine for booking a lead role on a #PrimeTime show! You have been one of the kindest colleagues @GeneralHospital #GH & I will forever be grateful for your friendship, warmth & wonderful heart! #ProudCanadian ???? https://t.co/SttNCYSIyw— Kathleen Gati (@gatitweets) July 14, 2018
For more on Antoine's new Diggstown role, check out the original interview with the Star here.
UPDATE (July 16, 2018): This article has been updated to include Antoine's Twitter posts.
UPDATE (August 11, 2018): General Hospital has announced the name of the actress that will take over the role of Jordan. Read more about that here.
What do you think about Antoine's new role? Are you disappointed you won't see her as Jordan anymore? Should GH recast the role? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.