Former “General Hospital” actor Ingo Rademacher, whose lawsuit against ABC alleges he was wrongfully fired in 2021 after 25 years with the show for public statements regarding the network’s coronavirus vaccine directive and other issues, says he will fight the network’s efforts to find out who supported him in his views.
According to court papers filed Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court, ABC has demanded that he produce every private message of support he received after ABC fired him as well as each communication he sent to another fired “General Hospital” actor, Steve Burton, about political and social issues, including the Jan. 6 2021, riots in Washington, D.C. Burton alleges he was fired from the show last November for refusing to get a coronavirus vaccination.
“I believe ABC’s real purpose in asking for all these private communications is to find out which people have supported me, so it can harass them, and to let everybody in Hollywood know that if they support me, ABC and others will find out,” Rademacher says in a sworn declaration. “There is a strong cancel-culture in Hollywood right now. I do not think the people who have messaged me privately would want ABC and others to know that. They might get canceled too.”
Rademacher says that after he was fired, he received many messages of support from friends, colleagues and others in the entertainment business, including some people who still work on “General Hospital” and even some total strangers.
“The messages were sent to me privately, with the understanding that they would be kept private,” Rademacher says. “I have done that. The most I have said is that I received many supportive messages.”
Rademacher says it would be burdensome to find all the information ABC is seeking and would force him to spend many hours going through his accounts. He further says he has already produced some of the messages in advance of his Oct. 14 deposition to show good faith.
In their court papers, Rademacher’s attorneys argue that ABC “does not have the right to fire Ingo for his public statements and then, after he sues them, conduct a fishing expedition into his and other people’s private affairs. And it has no legitimate reason to demand every private message of support Ingo received after ABC fired him.”
The 51-year-old Rademacher sued the network on Dec. 13. In the most recent revised complaint Rademacher alleges that ABC “decided to use the vaccine policy as an excuse to get rid of Ingo, making it look like the company wanted him to stay and simply could not accommodate him while disguising the fact that ABC fired him for other reasons.”
Internal ABC documents show the network decided to terminate Ingo’s contract by September 2021.
“Moreover, the company did not terminate Ingo’s employment because he could not perform the essential functions of his job — he clearly could have — but because the views he expressed publicly about COVID-19 and other issues did not match the views that ABC/Disney have been promoting lately.”
The ABC documents show that “General Hospital” producers discussed Rademacher’s last day of shooting before the company even considered his objections to the vaccine policy, according to Rademacher’s lawyers’ court papers.
A hearing on Rademacher’s motion to limit the amount of communications he has to turn over to ABC is scheduled Nov. 30 before Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Stephen I. Goorvitch.
Rademacher was a member of the “General Hospital” cast for 25 years and portrayed the character of tycoon Jasper “Jax” Jacks. He is a member of the board of Heal the Bay, a Santa Monica-based environmental organization.