Rockmond Dunbar Sues Disney’s 20th Television

The actor was written off the FOX series ‘9-1-1’ back in Nov. 2021 after asking for a religious or medical exemption amid the COVID vaccine mandate.

Actor Rockmond Dunbar wants to take Disney and 20th Television to court following his exit from FOX’s 9-1-1 primetime TV series in response to his COVID-19 vaccine exemption.

Dunbar is accusing the studios of racial discrimination and said that they chose not to grant his request for a religious and medical exemption from the COVID vaccine mandate, according to court documents filed on Wednesday (Feb. 16), PEOPLE reports.

“The administrators who work for [the studios] never took Mr. Dunbar's requests for accommodations seriously… Defendants refused to believe Mr. Dunbar's doctor's recommendation, and they refused to engage with Mr. Dunbar in any meaningful interactive communication regarding his religious beliefs,” the lawsuit states, which was obtained by the outlet.

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The 49-year-old who played Michael Grant for five seasons also said that after he submitted paperwork seeking a religious and medical exemption, producers of the show assured him they wanted his character to remain in the series. However, the actor was written off the show in Nov. 2021.

Following his exit off the series, Dunbar issued a statement:

“I applied for religious and medical accommodations pursuant to the law and unfortunately was denied by my employer,” he said at the time, according to Deadline. “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.”

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Elsewhere in the lawsuit, Dunbar alleges that other 9-1-1 cast and crew who could not get vaccinated were reportedly given special accommodations by the studios. But he states that “none sought a religious exemption and none were Black.”

20th Television responded to the lawsuit in a statement, obtained by Entertainment Tonight, saying, “To ensure safe working environments at our productions we have implemented a mandatory vaccination confirmation process.”

Adding: “While we will not comment on any one individual, each request for exemption is given a thorough review and we grant accommodations consistent with our legal obligations. There are no differences in our process or decision-making based on an employee's race.”

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