‘911’ Actor’s Lawsuit Over COVID Vaccine Firing Heads to Trial in Major Test for Studios

March 09, 2024

20th Television must face a religious discrimination trial for firing Rockmond Dunbar, an original castmember on 911, after he refused to take the COVID-19 vaccine, marking the second ruling to clear the way for trial a lawsuit against a studio over terminations triggered by vaccine mandates amid the pandemic. If 20th is found to have engaged in religious discrimination in the trial, the decision could threaten how studios approach exemptions to vaccine mandates if they are reimplemented in the future. In the trial, jurors will determine whether 20th could have provided Dunbar a workaround to getting the vaccine without endangering others. In September 2021, the 911 cast included three minors, one of whom played Dunbar’s child on the series. Last month, a Los Angeles judge ruled against ABC on summary judgment and allowed a religious discrimination claim under the Fair Employment and Housing Act to go to trial against the network.