Actor Emilio Estevez has spoken out for the first time since it was revealed that he won't be returning to the Disney+ series "The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers." The Hollywood star issued a denial to reports claiming he left over the show's COVID-19 vaccin
Actor Emilio Estevez has spoken out for the first time since it was revealed that he won’t be returning to the Disney+ series The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers. The Hollywood star issued a denial to reports claiming he left over the show’s COVID-19 vaccination policies, stating that he isn’t “anti-vaxx” but is “anti-bully.”
He also claimed his experience with “long-haul” COVID, saying he suffered from symptoms for months after coming down with the coronavirus last year.
Emilio Estevez issued a statement to Deadline following its report this weekend claiming the actor departed the show because he refused to comply with the production’s COVID-19 vaccination policies.
“I am not anti-vaxx. Full stop,” he said. “I take this pandemic very seriously, and I am often teased about my continued following of the safety protocols and my abundance of caution.”
He added: “In the final analysis, this was nothing more than a good old fashioned contract dispute and not, as some would believe an anti-vaccine position.”
— Disney+ (@disneyplus) February 13, 2020
Estevez said that he tested positive for COVID-19 in March 2020 after filming The Mighty Ducks pilot and claimed that his symptoms persisted through the summer and fall. He said he returned to shoot the series in Vancouver in August despite still feeling run down.
“I did not complain, nor did I release my diagnosis to the public,” he said. “I wanted to try and preserve the show morale and be a leader, however, while still suffering from Long Haul Syndrome. The legacy of the franchise was more important to me than my own health.”
In retrospect, I wrongly chose to protect the show over being transparent about having contracted Covid-19. I may have provided another public example to wit, how we are all vulnerable to this deadly disease.
The quoted “anonymous sources,” producers and show runners all know the truth.
Simply put, I am anti-bully.
My exit from the show was due to a myriad of creative differences – any other narrative is false.
The Mighty Ducks series reportedly requires vaccination against COVID-19 for everyone in “Zone A,” which includes all actors and crew members who come into contact with them.
Estevez reprised his role of hockey coach Gordon Bombay for the Disney+ series after playing the role in the original 1992 movie and its sequels.
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