Emilio Estevez is speaking out after exiting The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers ahead of the Disney+ comedy’s second season.
It was previously reported that Disney chose not to pick up Estevez’s option for Season 2 following a back-and-forth over the show’s COVID-vaccination mandate. The scripts for the new season will reportedly be adjusted to continue the story sans Bombay, and production is expected to begin early next year.
In a new statement to our sister site Deadline, the actor adamantly refuted that claim. “I am not anti-vaxx. Full stop,” he declared.
Estevez explained that he contracted COVID in March 2020 after filming the pilot, and in the fall of that year found out he had “Long Haul Syndrome.”
Estevez says he returned to filming in Vancouver in August 2020, and followed the country’s COVID protocols despite suffering from “Long Haul” symptoms. He also said he received assurances from producers that he would be safe, as well as warnings from his former reps that not returning to work would have serious legal consequences.
“In retrospect, I wrongly chose to protect the show over being transparent about having contracted COVID-19,” he noted in his statement. “I may have provided another public example to wit, how we are all vulnerable to this deadly disease.”
The actor again shut down claims that his departure from Game Changers had anything to do with COVID protocols. “My exit from the show was due to a myriad of creative differences — any other narrative is false,” he said.
Estevez went on to address the fans, saying he was “as disappointed as you are,” and wished the cast and crew a “wonderful Season 2 on the show and please know that I will miss you all.”
Read his full statement here.