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The original voice of Cloud Strife, Steve Burton, has been kicked off of a long-running TV show because he has refused to take the Covid-19 vaccine. Though there is all the science backing its value to the world’s population, and very few occurrences of potential harm to people, Burton believes in “personal freedom” over the vaccine’s benefits.
As reported by Kotaku, Steven Burton played Jason Morgan in ABC soap opera General Hospital, since 1991. He left the soap opera in 2012 and came back in 2017, only to be fired over vaccine mandates. He also happened to be the original voice of one of the most famous game characters of all time, Cloud in Final Fantasy VII. Apparently refusing to get the vaccine for the safety of the crew was a step too far for him and now he’s out of his long-running acting role.
Here's a more modern look at Cloud in Final Fantasy VII Remake...
The actor took to Instagram to reveal the bad news to his fans. He says: “I know there’s been a lot of rumours and speculations about me and General Hospital, and I wanted you to hear it from me personally. Unfortunately, the General Hospital has let me go because of the vaccine mandate. I did apply for my medical and religious exemptions, and both of those were denied, which, you know, hurts. But this is also about personal freedom to me. I don’t think anyone should lose their personal livelihood over this.”
Burton spends the rest of the video talking about how he’s moving on, and how other opportunities will arise for him. Vaccine mandates, however, are going to be present on a lot of film sets for the foreseeable future. The actor doesn’t rule out returning to General Hospital if the mandates are ever lifted.
Burton went on to voice iterations of Cloud for years for English-speaking audiences. However, when it came to the release of Final Fantasy VII Remake the role was recast and Cody Christian took over. Square Enix may have accidentally kept itself out of quite the controversy as a result.
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