Thomas Gibson has been fired from Criminal Minds after 11 seasons on the hit crime drama. Initial reports said that Thomas was suspended after an altercation with a producer while on the set. That suspension has been upgraded, and a statement released on Friday says that Gibson has been dismissed from the show after his violent outburst while filming.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Gibson was initially suspended for at least two episodes after he kicked a writer. That suspension has since been upgraded to a full termination, according to a statement released by the studios where Criminal Minds is filmed.
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“Thomas Gibson has been dismissed from Criminal Minds,” a statement released by ABC Studios and CBS TV Studios on Friday read. “Creative details for how the character’s exit will be addressed in the show will be announced at a later date.”
Gibson, who has been a staple on the CBS procedural for its entire 11 seasons, was directing an episode for the upcoming Season 12. While on the set, Gibson reportedly had an argument with the episode’s writer that escalated, and in a fit of anger, the actor-director is said to have kicked the writer.
Had this been Thomas Gibson’s first incident while on the Criminal Minds set, all may have been forgiven, but this was actually his second altercation during filming. According to reports, Gibson pushed a producer during another argument a few years ago while filming the popular procedural drama. He was not suspended for that incident but was required to attend anger management classes.
On Thursday, Gibson spoke with THR about the on-set incident. He has yet to update his statement or speak out again since learning of his firing from Criminal Minds.
“There were creative differences on the set and a disagreement,” Gibson said. “I regret that it occurred. We all want to work together as a team to make the best show possible. We always have and we always will.”
TMZ reported that it was Virgil Williams, a co-executive producer and writer for Criminal Minds, who Thomas Gibson kicked during an explosive argument. Williams was described as a boxer and martial arts aficionado with an aggressive attitude. Sources claim that it was Williams who escalated the argument with Gibson and even came at him like he was going to strike before Gibson reacted by kicking Williams.
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Thomas Gibson was fired after ABC Studios finished an internal review. They decided that Gibson will not return to the set, creating a dilemma for writers and producers who now are tasked with trying to write out his character Aaron Hotchner with a departure that seems plausible for the storyline in Season 12.
News of Thomas Gibson’s firing comes on the heels of another huge Criminal Minds loss. Series regular and popular star Shemar Moore announced his departure from the show after Season 11. In order to fill the hole left from Moore’s exit, Adam Rodriguez was brought in as a series regular. Rodriguez will make his debut when Season 12 begins.
It’s unclear exactly how Criminal Minds writers will create a storyline that effectively removes Aaron Hotchner from the team without bringing him back to film. Thomas Gibson’s character was a huge part of the show since its 2005 inception, and he was expected to be featured in at least two of the upcoming Season 12 episodes. Now writers will be tasked with writing Gibson out of the popular show as seamlessly as possible without actually brining his character back.
Season 12 of Criminal Minds begins on CBS on September 28.
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