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Why was Wayne Rogers Replaced on M*A*S*H


ART VAN DELAY
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This is a great story. M*A*S*H was a huge success and it came time to renew the actors contracts. When Rogers read his contract, he noted that there was a "morals clause." This was standard at a lot of studios, it allows the producers to fire an actor if their personal behavior reflects poorly on the production.

Rogers told them he had no problem signing the contract, as long as the producers signed one too. He said it would only be fair that they be held to the same moral standards that he was. The producers refused to sign, and the matter was forgotten.

Meanwhile, Rogers' investment company is generating far more income than his role on M*A*S*H. Rogers becomes disillusioned with his role on the series that was supposed to be equal to Alan Adla's character. He complains to the producers that he's loosing money by having to hang around the set five days a weeks only to deliver a couple of straight lines to Alda.

When things don't improve, Rogers tells Fox that he wouldn't be returning for the fourth season (this happened during the hiatus, this is why he wasn't written out like Mclean Stevenson). Fox tells Rogers that if he's not on set for the first day of shooting he'll be sued for breech of contract.

Rogers doesn't show, Fox is ready to haul him into court, when they discover, he never signed his contract the year before.

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Hmmm..... I don't really remember. Elliott Gould played Trapper John' McIntyre and Donald Sutherland played Hawkeye, and I remember Elliott Gould more than Sutherland, but I haven't seen the movie since it first came out in 1970 (I think I read the book too) and I just don't remember if one of them was more central to the story than the other. Maybe someone that's seen the movie more recently will help us out.

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  • 6 years later...

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