Emilio Estevez is opening up about his exit from the Disney+ original series The Mighty Ducks.
The actor, who played Coach Gordon Bombay has revealed to Deadline in a statement that his departure was down to “nothing more than a good old fashioned contract dispute” as well as “a myriad of creative differences.”
Estevez started his statement by saying that he is “not anti-vaxx” and has taken “this pandemic very seriously, and I am often teased about my continued following of the safety protocols and my abundance of caution.”
Estevez revealed that he didn’t feel 100% after shooting the pilot of The Mighty Ducks last year, and he was told he didn’t meet the criteria to have COVID-19.
The star revealed that he subsequently managed to get a test and was diagnosed with COVID-19 in March 2020.
He went on to say that he “suffered the summer and fall of 2020” from “Long Haul Syndrome.”
“As the show went back into production in August 2020, I reluctantly soldiered on, but was uncertain about how I would be safe on set,” the star said of the production of Season 1.
The star said that show producers repeatedly told him that he has natural immunity to COVID-19.
“You’ll be the safest one on set,” he said he was told. He also said that he was warned by his former reps that there could be consequences and legal issues if he failed to report to work.
He said he returned to Vancouver and followed the Canadian quarantine mandate as well as the on-set protocols.
Estevez said he did not disclose his diagnosis and wanted to “preserve the morale of the show and be a leader.”
He conceded that the “creative differences” were to blame for his exit and that “any other narrative is false.”
In closing the statement, he thanked his cast and crew, told them to have a great season.
He also thanked the studio and the producers for creating the opportunity to revisit the character.
“Ducks Fly Together,” he added.
The prior article by Deadline stated that the show would be rejigging the scripts to shoot Season 2 next year.
What are your thoughts on the lengthy statement from Emilio?
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.