9-1-1 Star Rockmond Dunbar Exits Show Over COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate

Rockmond Dunbar says his requests for religious and medical exemptions were denied. Read his statement here.

By Jillian Fabiano Nov 16, 2021 9:44 PMTags
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9-1-1 fans are saying farewell to Michael Grant. 

On Nov. 15, Rockmond Dunbar made his final appearance as a series regular on FOX's 9-1-1His unprecedented departure from the firefighter drama follows the show's COVID-19 vaccine mandate. Deadline reports that Dunbar is not an anti-vaxxer and had requested both religious and medical exemptions from the mandate, which were denied. 

Dunbar released a statement on Nov. 16 explaining his reasons for leaving the show. "I applied for religious and medical accommodations pursuant to the law and unfortunately was denied by my employer," he said. "My sincerely held beliefs and private medical history are very intimate and personal aspects of my life that I do not publicly discuss and have no desire to start now." 

Dunbar continued, "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."

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Dunbar had been on 9-1-1 since its premiere in 2018, playing Michael, the HOA president and ex-husband of Athena Grant.

Though the actor has decided to exit the show, he says that he still appreciates his time on the series. "I have enjoyed the last 5 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."

Mathieu Young/ FOX. © 2018 FOX Broadcasting

In response, a 20th Television spokesperson said in a statement, "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."

"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," they continued. 

9-1-1 airs every Monday on FOX.

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