'Young and the Restless' Star Richard Burgi Fired After Breaking COVID Rules
CBS/Sonja Flemming

The Ashland Locke depicter explains during an Instagram Live session that he 'naively and inadvertently' violates the show's mandated COVID-19's safety protocols.

AceShowbiz - It has been revealed that Richard Burgi, who played Ashland Locke on "The Young and the Restless", has been fired from the CBS soap opera. The actor addressed his firing from the show during an Instagram Live session on Tuesday, January 11.

Richard explained that his contract was terminated as a result of him "naively and inadvertently" violating the show's mandated COVID-19's safety protocols. "I felt terrible about it," he admitted. "I still do. It bothers me mightily, but it is what it is."

He shared that he tested positive for coronavirus near Christmas. The actor returned to the set of the show after waiting the CDC-recommended guideline of five days. As he returned, he claimed he "tested twice negatively at the studio and showed up to work."

However, the show required its staff to do 10 days of isolation, which was based on the CDC's previous guidelines, for those who test positive for the deadly virus. "So I inadvertently violated the show's COVID rules and protocols."

Despite the firing, Richard claimed that he respected the decision. "I respect whatever the show's decision is. They're doing the best they can, as we all are," he said in the video.

The role, which Richard had played since March 2021, has now reportedly recasted with "Guiding Light" alum Robert Newman.

Richard wasn't the only star who was let go from a TV show over COVID-19 mandate. "General Hospital" alum Ingo Rademacher was fired from the show after refusing to get vaccinated. He sued ABC over the decision in December 2021.

Ingo, who played Jasper "Jax" Jacks on the soap for nearly 25 years before getting fired for refusing to get vaccinated, claimed that he sought a religious exemption from the mandate. However, ABC rejected his exemption attempt.

"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," Ingo wrote in an October 11 email to Disney's HR department. He then had an interview with an HR lawyer which "was more akin to cross-examination."

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