Broadway Star Laura Osnes Denies Being Fired from Production for Refusing COVID Vaccine

Laura Osnes explained she "stands by" her decision not to get vaccinated

Laura Osnes
Photo: Daniel Zuchnik/Getty

Laura Osnes is telling her side of the story following allegations that she was fired from an upcoming theater production for refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

The Broadway star, 35, shared a statement on Instagram on Monday in response to a report from Page Six claiming that she had been removed from a one-night-only performance of Crazy for You at Guild Hall in East Hampton due to her vaccination status.

"The article reports erroneous allegations that have generated a firestorm of negative conclusions and comments," Osnes posted. "It is important to me to clarify what actually happened."

She went on to explain that she had signed up to participate in the production back in May, but was informed in June that "protocols had changed, and I would now need proof of vaccination to participate."

"I was disappointed but responded that I would have to withdraw, as I have not yet gotten the vaccine," Osnes continued.

Page Six previously reported that Osnes only opened up about her vaccination status when pushed by a costar in the musical, which is being directed and choreographed by Susan Stroman.

But Osnes denied that on Monday, clarifying that "one of my fellow performers never 'pressed me on the matter' before I withdrew."

"It was a drama-free and discrete [sic] transition," she said.

She also claimed she was never extended the option to provide a negative test, despite representatives for Guild Hall reportedly telling Page Six that the venue requires both staff and performers to either be vaccinated or submit a negative COVID test.

"I would have tested in a heartbeat — something that I have been doing for months, and will continue to do so, in order to keep working safely," Osnes said.

Laura Osnes
Paul Archuleta/Getty

Osnes' exit comes after The Broadway League, the national trade association for the Broadway industry, announced that vaccinations will be required for performers, backstage crew, and staffers in all 41 theaters in New York City when they begin to reopen next month.

Audiences will also have to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination before entering any venue. Attendees must also be masked at all times, except while eating or drinking in designated locations, the organization said.

The mandate is set to last through October, though it may relax later in the year "if the science dictates," the association confirmed in a news release.

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2018 Tony Awards - Red Carpet
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions

Elsewhere in her statement, Osnes explained she "stands by" her decision not to get vaccinated, saying that it was a choice she and her husband came to "with input from our physician" and one they made "for ourselves, our family planning, and our future."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that the "COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for all people aged 12 years and older, including people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to get pregnant now, or might become pregnant in the future."

"Pregnant and recently pregnant people are more likely to get severely ill with COVID-19 compared with non-pregnant people," the CDC adds. "Getting a COVID-19 vaccine can protect you from severe illness from COVID-19."

Multiple large-scale studies have found that vaccines are safe. There is no scientific link between vaccines and autism, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

COVID-19 infections that occur in people who have been fully vaccinated against the virus — are rare, but possible and expected, as the vaccines are not 100% effective in preventing infections. Still, vaccinated people who test positive will likely be asymptomatic or experience a far milder illness than if they were not vaccinated. The majority of deaths from COVID-19 — around 98 to 99% — are in unvaccinated people.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from the CDC, WHO and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.

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