Richard Burgi "The Young and the Restless" Set CBS television CityLos Angeles04/16/21© Howard Wise/jpistudios.com310-657-9661Episode # 12116U.S. Airdate 05/26/21

Howard Wise/JPI

“I just wanted to set the record straight,” the actor said at the start of a January 11 Instastory.

After reading about his exit from Young & Restless online, Richard Burgi returned to social media to clarify the reason he’d no longer be playing Ashland. “My wife had said something about it being the show’s choice, which is true,” he noted. “But the reality is that I naively and inadvertently violated the show’s COVID policy.

“I was back East over Christmas and tested positive somewhere around Christmas at my niece’s house visiting my 97-year-old mom,” he continued. He “took the necessary five days the CDC had recommended [to isolate], came back and then went and tested negatively twice at the studio Tuesday and Wednesday, and showed up to work.”

Ashland and Victoria plot in Newman office Y&R

Burgi believed that he was doing his due diligence. “But it was not within the show’s guidelines,” he pointed out. “So I inadvertently violated the show’s COVID rules and protocols.

“I felt terrible about it,” he continued. “I still do. It bothers me mightily, but it is what it is. I respect whatever the show’s decision is. They’re doing the best they can, as we all are.”

More: Eric Braeden and Betty White… an on-screen couple?!?

In closing, Burgi, whose other soap credits include Another World, Days of Our Lives and General Hospital, sang the praises of The Young and the Restless. “I have nothing but good memories and good wishes for it,” he said after sending a supportive message to his successor, Robert Newman (Josh, Guiding Light). “I truly wish the gentleman who’s coming in to play Ashland a wonderful time. He’s going to be working with the most incredible actress and great, great cast.”

burgi newman

While we prepare for the Ashland switcheroo of 2022, review the fan theory about the change that would make for a brilliant plot twist. Then, quick, take a peek at the show’s gorgeous cast portraits for the year before we have to update them again. They’re in the below photo gallery.