Emilio Estevez has been cut from The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers. Yahoo Entertainment can confirm that the actor won't return for the second season of the Disney+ show as he will not comply with a COVID-19 vaccine mandate. Estevez reprised his role as Gordon Bombay and is the coach of the hockey team. Estevez played the beloved character in all three The Mighty Ducks films in the '90s.
Deadline broke the story that Estevez's option was not picked up "after weeks of back and forth with his team over the show's COVID vaccination requirement." Sources close to the 59-year-old actor hinted to the outlet that creative differences may have played a role in his exit.
Representatives for the studio and Estevez did not comment when reached by Yahoo.
According to Deadline, Disney TV Studios, which produces The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers, adopted a mandatory vaccination policy for the cast and crew in Zone A. Zone A includes all actors as well as all crew members who come into direct contact with them.
The Walt Disney Co. was one of the first major companies to require all salaried and nonunion hourly employees be fully vaccinated. The company, like many studios, reached agreements with major unions regarding COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
"At the Walt Disney Company, the safety and well-being of our employees during the pandemic has been and continues to be a top priority. Toward that end, and based on the latest recommendations of scientists, health officials and our own medical professionals that the COVID-19 vaccine provides the best protection against severe infection, we are requiring that all salaried and nonunion hourly employees in the U.S. working at any of our sites be fully vaccinated," the company announced in July. "In addition, all new hires will be required to be fully vaccinated before beginning employment."
The company added, "Vaccines are the best tool we all have to help control this global pandemic and protect our employees."