Laura Osnes, who has starred in such Broadway musicals as Bandstand, South Pacific and Bonnie and Clyde, is disputing reports that she was fired from a one-night benefit concert in East Hampton, New York, for her refusal to get a Covid-19 vaccine.
Osnes had been scheduled to perform at East Hampton’s Guild Hall in the August 29 production of song selections from a planned Broadway revival of the musical Crazy For You directed by Susan Stroman. Last week, the New York Post reported that Osnes had been fired from the show for refusing to get vaccinated.
The actress says the report was inaccurate. In an Instagram post, Osnes claims she withdrew from the production after being informed that safety “protocols had changed.”
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“I was disappointed but responded that I would have to withdraw, as I have not yet gotten the vaccine,” Osnes writes. (See the full post below).
Osnes also denied the Post’s claim that co-star Tony Yazbeck raised concerns over her unvaccinated status. Osnes writes that none of her cast mates “pressed” her on the matter. “It was a drama-free and discrete transition.” (Osnes was replaced in the show with actress Sierra Boggess; the cast also includes Melissa Errico, and Dee Hoty.)
Despite Osnes’ insistence that she simply had “not yet gotten the vaccine,” the actress doubles-down on her refusal to do so. “Every soul is entitled to live according to their convictions and work without being publicly ostracized,” she writes. “My conviction does not discount my care and commitment to safety during this unprecedented time.”
“I stand by the decision my husband and I, with input from our position, have made for ourselves, our family planning, and our future,” she writes. “There is much that is still unknown.” Osnes is married to photographer Nathan Johnson.
Osnes also says that, counter to reports, she was not given the option to take a Covid test in lieu of vaccination: “I would have tested in a heartbeat – something I have been doing for months, and will continue to do, in order to keep working safely.”
Unless she changes her mind, Osnes will no doubt hit obstacles in finding theater work in New York City. Not only has Broadway mandated vaccinations for all performers and audiences, but Mayor Bill de Blasio’s city-wide mandate for indoor activities launches today.
In addition to her stage work, Osnes played Shirley MacLaine in FX’s Fosse/Verdon, and has appeared in several Hallmark Channel movies, among other credits.