Michael Easton: "I Cannot be at General Hospital After February 8th"

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Fans hoping to deliver goodies to Michael Easton (John McBain)for his birthday received sad news, straight from the popular General Hospital star himself. Easton won't be there to accept any cake, cards or presents, because he will be legally prohibited from being at GH after Feb 8. Posted Easton on Facebook:

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While this development should come as no surprise to faithful Daytime Confidential readers, I was hoping Disney-ABC (of whom Easton, Roger Howarth and Kristen Alderson are all under contract with) and Prospect Park—the company which holds the rights to One Life to Live and the characters of John McBain, Todd and Starr Manning—would come to some sort of mutually beneficial agreement. I've been told I shouldn't hold my breath, as negotiations between the two parties have turned "contentious".  

"It's turning into a real pissing contest," says one insider. "Jeff [Kwatinetz] went way above Time Square Studios' head. Word came down to Vicki [Dummer] from Bob Iger's office for General Hospital to do what Jeff wants. What they don't realize is the actors flat out don't want to do the reboot."

Apparently Disney-ABC is so geeked about the potential loot they can haul in via licensing fees for Prospect Park's upcoming reboot of One Life to Live, they're prepared to roll over in the negotiations — even if it negatively impacts ratings juggernaut General Hospital. Easton and the character of John McBain are currently at the start of a frontburner murder mystery on the ABC Daytime drama.

 Keep checking back with Daytime Confidential as this story develops.