Thomas Gibson may be out of a job on Criminal Minds, but Mr. Gibson has a lot of friends. These hardcore #NoHotchNoWatch fans love Gibson’s character Aaron Hotchner enough to fight back.
While Criminal Minds protesters and boycotters love Kirsten Vangsness, Matthew Gray Gubler, A.J. Cook, and other stars of the CBS, ABC, and ultimately Disney-owned production, they are not going to watch the show till Hotch is back. Logically, if the ABC studios can fire Gibson, what protects Vangsness, Gubler, and Cook? Cook has even been let go before, back in Season 6. There are no guarantees for anyone if Thomas can be fired.
Thomas Gibson was terminated by ABC studios, a subsidiary of Disney, following an altercation involving him and writer and co-producer Virgil Williams, but #NoHotchNoWatch will not let Hotch die. The #NoHotchNoWatch Twitter group is just part of a huge network of hashtags for those sad about Gibson’s departure.
Criminal Minds writers allegedly have the plan to kill Hotchner off on the show. Fans find this idea especially offensive, because not only would Hotch’s death make a return difficult, but it would be upsetting to those fans still watching. Even for #NoHotchNoWatch fans who refuse to watch the show, Aaron Hotchner’s death would be horrific news.
The #NoHotchNoWatch Thomas Gibson fans are not about to throw in the towel. In fact, #NoHotchNoWatch is staging a massive worldwide Twitter protest on Wednesday Night, at the exact same time Criminal Minds is televised on CBS. In addition to daily tweeting for fans, these special meet-ups are especially cohesive to the group.
— Jeri Anderson???? (@IUredhead) November 1, 2016
— Carmen Del (@carmendelpa) November 1, 2016
— Andrew Colquhoun (@Henry_Forebush) November 1, 2016
Criminal Minds has terminated stars with little or no cause in the past. Rachel Nichols was told that she failed to connect with fans. Jeanne Tripplehorn was let go after a breakdown in contract negotiations according to E! News. A.J. Cook was terminated in August of 2011 due to budget cuts. They told Cook in Season 6 she’d done nothing wrong. It was all about money.
Like Thomas Gibson fans, A.J. Cook fans fought back for their favorite Criminal Minds star. Their protests worked. Cook was rehired and back on the show full-time for Seasons 7 to 12 according to TV Guide.
Could Thomas Gibson fans get ABC studios to re-hire Gibson? Successful fan protests in the past indicate it might be possible, but circumstances are a bit different.
Criminal Minds has been a great show with 11 terrific past seasons. Thomas Gibson has been a mainstay of the show, and Shemar Moore added a lot of life to the screen with his quasi-courtship with Kirsten Vangsness’s character Penelope Garcia. Without Hotch and Derick, the show has definitely changed.
Criminal Minds fans, especially those who strongly preferred Thomas Gibson or Shemar Moore, are dissatisfied. While many fans still suffer in silence, the #NoHotchNoWatch movement is growing online, with tremendous international support from fans around the world.
— FanFrance (@GloBul52) November 1, 2016
The #NoHotchNoWatch movement does not only affect the US! These are the TG fans around the world who are not happy!
— FanFrance (@GloBul52) November 1, 2016
Thomas Gibson fans are bonding online, with great solidarity and a growing team of TV series activists. While not all Criminal Minds fans are sold on the idea of a boycott, most if not all do understand the principles these fans are speaking out on.
Criminal Minds fans who love Thomas Gibson are not buying the story that Gibson became violent and randomly attacked the writer. They feel he must have been powerfully provoked, and that the altercation was not his fault. Overall they don’t think whatever happened was serious enough to merit firing Gibson.
RELATED REPORTS FROM THE INQUISITR
Thomas Gibson fans still hold out hope that the #NoHotchNoWatch campaign will be successful. No matter the outcome, they remain committed to the protests each week during Criminal Minds on Wednesday nights. As the movement grows, what will ABC studios do?
Thomas Gibson fans continue to be outraged that Hotch isn’t on Criminal Minds, but so far there is no word on ABC having a change of heart.
[Featured Image by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images]