According to a message on his official web site, John J. York (Mac Scorpio) has been released from his contract with General Hospital. The actor will remain with the show, however, in a recurring capacity.
In spite of the bad news about his contract status, York remains upbeat.
"I'd be lying if I said said I wasn't very disappointed," said York. "But that's as negative as I'm going to get. I have oh so much to be thankful for. I've been playing Mac Scorpio for 11 years now [and] I was told that I would be allowed to continue to play Mac Scorpio.
York joined GH in 1991. The following year he earned a nomination as Outstanding Newcomer in the Soap Opera Digest Awards. York's character has enjoyed a return to the forefront of the show's storylines in recent months thanks to a murder mystery. According to an insider, York's downgrade will be facilitated by his character leaving his job as Port Charles police commissioner.
GH fans may be experiencing deja vu as this is the second time in two years that a popular performer has been downgraded to a recurring role. In November 2000, Brad Maule (Tony Jones) was dropped to recurring status after having been with the show for 17 years.
There is already speculation about the implications of York's new status with GH. Some online rumors have speculated that York's character could be shipped off to All My Children to reunite with sister-in-law Anna Devane (played by Finola Hughes). Others are speculating that the writers have simply decided to place their emphasis on other characters.