Two “General Hospital” actors, Finola Hughes and Jon Lindstrom, who are part of the controversial “safe room” storyline, have left the soap, according to an Instagram post by co-star Brytni Sarpy, to whom Lindstrom sent out a cease-and-desist letter over concerns about their portrayal of two middle-aged parents who are divided over a controversial vaccination debate.
Hughes’ character, Maggie, is pregnant, and her unborn baby is not being vaccinated. Lindstrom’s character, Ryan, expressed concern after learning about the debate and what it would mean for his baby. Lindstrom was told that he and Hughes had “zero creative control” over the storyline and had to accept “what they’ve given us.” They sent a cease-and-desist letter to ABC Entertainment and others, accusing them of creating a misleading narrative around “the debate over the safety of vaccines, specifically the MMR vaccination.”
The “safe room” also stars Broadway alumna Laura Harrier, a vocal critic of the mandated vaccination law in California which took effect in September 2017, and actress Kathleen Robertson, who opposes vaccinations in general. Harrier, who’s been largely quiet on social media in recent weeks, posted about the decision to leave the show on Instagram:
“Due to circumstances beyond my control,” Harrier said in a lengthy post, “It is with great sadness that I will not be returning to General Hospital. While I am sad to be leaving this wonderful role, I am happy to stay in this community as I look forward to my next chapter.”
Hughes tweeted out the following message and also thanked the cast and crew for the opportunity to work.
Lindstrom’s son wrote in an Instagram post that he’s “so sorry to see them go” and that they have “offered to extend an olive branch for them to return.”
Lindstrom had previously denounced “general ignorance” surrounding the politics and science of vaccinations, and Sarpy cited his opinion in her Instagram post. “Sometimes, good people who are not aware of the details of a situation speak out,” she wrote. “Jon’s opinion was paramount in the storyline, but he has decided to back out of it as he is not comfortable with what is portrayed.”
Soon after this revelation, Lindstrom’s estranged wife, Nikki Mueller, also commented on a Twitter thread, writing: “Mike’s care [for] Jen makes this heartbreaking. This drama is not our history — Nikki and Jon are good people. Can we respect their privacy and their right to have the doctor they want?”
Meanwhile, @benjohnson767, who believes that it is his right to refuse vaccines for his children, tweeted about the “verbal attack” he says he suffered from Lindstrom’s wife on Twitter. “You go back to your home in God’s country — I guess you don’t want to stay away from people talking about you,” the actress replied.
Sarpy told fans, “I am a strong believer in the right of parents to have my say and to disagree with the decisions [I] make regarding my children.”
Actress Elizabeth Hendrickson, who also voiced her concerns about the ongoing plot in a series of posts on Instagram, thanked fans for their support and said that she is now moving on with her life: “We have a history of sisterhood and health, and it was incredibly heartbreaking to feel our dialogue, which ran deep and genuine, threatened.”
Read the full story at The Advocate.
Both ‘The Bold and the Beautiful’ and ‘General Hospital’ have botched the story line about a mandatory vaccine law