Who Fired Thomas Gibson From ‘Criminal Minds’? The #NoHotchNoWatch Boycott Continues

Thomas Gibson fans are outraged that their favorite actor is no longer on Criminal Minds. Many continue to boycott, protesting on Twitter under the hashtag #NoHotchNoWatch.

Criminal Minds had four original cast members, and two long-term cast members in Season 11. Now Matthew Gray Gubler and Kirsten Vangsness are the only two remaining original cast members in Season 12. A.J. Cook and Joe Mantegna have each invested a decade or more in the show as well. Paget Brewster, a returning favorite has also been with the show a long time, though not consecutively. Still the loss of two original cast members this season is a bitter pill for viewers.

Thomas Gibson is especially missed due to the circumstances under which he left. Fans resent that Gibson was terminated. Many say it isn’t fair.

Criminal Minds’ Shemar Moore, who played Derick Morgan on the show, quit at the end of last season. He, too, is missed, and his absence is painful for viewers and cast, but at least Moore left on good terms. It is even possible Shemar might return at some point in the future, either as a guest or as a returning regular.

Thomas Gibson, on the other hand, has been terminated due to an alleged altercation on the set with writer Virgil Williams. It should be noted that Gibson was fired by ABC Studio’s HR department and that CBS and ABC released a joint statement last August regarding the incident.

“Thomas Gibson has been dismissed from Criminal Minds. Creative details for how the character’s exit will be addressed in the show will be announced at a later date.”

Criminal Minds Hotch and Rossi
Criminal Minds Hotch and Rossi [Image by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images]

Criminal Minds fans were totally hooked on the show but resented deeply the loss of Thomas Gibson on the heels of Shemar Moore’s departure. It is just sad, especially for fans who really felt a connection with those characters. Gibson’s Aaron Hotchner was seen as the central character in many ways.

Many Thomas Gibson fans feel that the show just is not worth watching without him. Some are outright boycotting, but other Criminal Minds fans just find the show sad without either Gibson or Moore. Perhaps for every one Thomas Gibson activist on Twitter, posting under the #NoHotchNoWatch, there are a thousand viewers who don’t know about that movement, but are just disappointed at losing Gibson. Either way, there are a lot of people not watching this season.

Criminal Minds ratings are down, whether due to a conscious boycott or a loss of overall interest following these extensive casting changes. The show still has a lot to offer in terms of plot, but if fans are sad because they miss their favorite stars, then watching might make them feel worse. The solution seems simple to fans. ABC simply needs to re-hire Gibson.

As Thomas Gibson fans continue to protest on Twitter and boycott the show, perhaps it is time to look at the bigger picture. Who exactly had the authority to give Gibson the pink slip? Who made the decision.

The Criminal Minds cast, crew, and writers seem to be all employees of the enormous media conglomerate Disney. CBS is only responsible for domestic distribution of Criminal Minds, while international distribution is handled by Disney Media Distribution. ABC owns the studio, but Disney owns ABC. Disney, ABC, and others have merged into one huge company under Disney, according to Free Press. Needless to say, their holdings are considerable with a $40.1 billion revenue stream.

Thomas Gibson of Criminal Minds
Thomas Gibson of Criminal Minds [Image by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Thomas Gibson’s attorneys allegedly warned him that any sort of lawsuit he might file alleging wrongful dismissal could drag on for years, perhaps a decade, according to Deadline. It is unclear whether Gibson is pursuing the lawsuit, but it’s known that he did speak with an attorney on the matter. Nicollette Sheridan was dismissed by ABC from Desperate Housewives in 2009 and is still fighting it out in court. A Hollywood attorney told Deadline there was little hope.

“In that context, you think they would have fired Gibson without making sure all the T’s are crossed? Unlikely.”

Thomas Gibson had been making $120,000 per episode for his role in Criminal Minds, according to The Richest. His net worth is $15 million. Will Gibson be able to land another good role, considering this incident? Could Thomas being fired from ABC and ultimately Disney make it hard for him to find work?

Thomas Gibson continues to be surprised by the dedication of his fan base, though. He greatly appreciates the continued support.

Criminal Minds former star Thomas Gibson will hardly get a speedy resolution to his case in court, according to Deadline’s expert sources, so fans are boycotting the show. Unfortunately, the boycott is not being well received by some of the other fans of the show who are not convinced the boycott will be effective in changing ABC’s mind. Additionally, the lowered ratings will only serve to get the show canceled, hurting actors and viewers, not ABC studios who could easily replace it with another show.

Criminal Minds could possibly be canceled and no one wants to see that, not even those boycotting. They want Gibson to return in the role of Hotch. Unfortunately, the 12-year-old show is now beleaguered by a deepening rift among the fan base as well as a drop in ratings.

Thomas Gibson’s character Aaron Hotchner was a huge part of Criminal Minds, but Kirsten Vangsness, Matthew Gray Gubler, and A.J. Cook also have fans, and many viewers feel caught in the middle because they like all the actors and their characters. What is the solution?


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‘Criminal Minds’ Season 12 Behind The Scenes: Adam Rodriguez, Matthew Gray Gubler, And Thomas Gibson [Spoilers]

‘Criminal Minds’ Without Thomas Gibson: How Will Hotch Be Written Off The Show? Could He Return?

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Should #NoHotchNoWatch be extended to other ABC shows? Are their other avenues of protest, such as writing letters or e-mails that might make a difference? Is there anything fans can do to impress a huge media conglomerate? It is a real David and Goliath situation to be sure.

Thomas Gibson fans remain dedicated to their online protests on Twitter and their boycott. Other fans just find Criminal Minds painful to watch without Gibson and Shemar Moore. Still others, though, continue to love the show with Matthew Gray Gubler and Kirsten Vangsness, A.J. Cook, Joe Mantegna and Paget Brewster. Some fans are already beginning to like the new cast members as well.

Each Thomas Gibson and Criminal Minds fan must decide whether to boycott.

[Featured Image by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images]