'Criminal Minds': Thomas Gibson Speaks Out On Firing

Amie LaFleur

Criminal Minds fans were shocked when long-time series star Thomas Gibson was fired from the show last month. Now, the fan favorite is breaking his silence on the altercation that led to his termination from the hit CBS series.

"I feel like it took years to make a good reputation and a minute to damage it," Gibson revealed to People.

According to the TV veteran, the incident began when he was filming the second episode of Criminal Minds Season 12, which premieres later this month. Apparently, he had a problem with the script and approached writer-producer Virgil Williams for a solution.

"We were shooting a scene late one night when I went to Virgil and told him there was a line that I thought contradicted an earlier line," Gibson recalled. "He said, 'Sorry, it's necessary, and I absolutely have to have it.'"

Thomas Gibson then explains how the physical confrontation happened.

"[Williams] came into that room and started coming towards me. As he brushed past me, my foot came up and tapped him on the leg. If I hadn't moved, he would have run into me. We had some choice words, for which I apologized the next day, and that was it. It was over. We shot the scene, I went home -- and I never got to go back."

In a previous People article, an unnamed source on the Criminal Minds set seemed to back up Gibson's account, saying that the actor kicked Williams in the shin "almost out of instinct."

The source went on to say Williams "seemed all right at the time, but when his team found out, it turned into something bigger."

Thomas Gibson was initially only suspended from the show, but after sitting out for nearly two weeks, the actor was informed he was dismissed from the series.

Immediately after Gibson's firing, ABC Studios and CBS Television Studios released a statement saying that "creative details about how the character's exit will be addressed in the show will be announced at a later date."

In order to round out the Criminal Minds cast in the wake of Thomas Gibson's departure, Aisha Tyler's (Dr. Tara Lewis) role has been expanded and Paget Brewster (Emily Prentiss) has been promoted to series regular.

Earlier this month, Tyler told People she thinks Criminal Minds fans will still enjoy the show despite Gibson's exit.

"It's a show that fans love," Tyler said. "They connect with the stories. They connect with the theme of the show, which is smart people out there trying to make the world safer for everybody. That hasn't changed."

As for Gibson, he admits his forced exit is a sore spot.

"It seems like they're trying to erase me from the show," Gibson confessed. "That hurts. But I'm using this time to be with my kids, and I look forward to what's next."

Among the possibilities Gibson mentioned are acting in a comedy or a play. He also expressed interest in directing and producing. Overall, he says he's just trying to move forward with a positive attitude.

"My pride and reputation are hurt, but in the end I know the good work is what people will remember. I just need more opportunities to do good work and be a good guy."

Criminal Minds Season 12 returns to CBS on Wednesday, September 28.

[Featured Image by CBS]