Thomas Gibson and Virgil Williams, for those who have not been following the story, had an altercation about a storyline of Criminal Minds back in August, during the filming of Season 12, Episode 2. The altercation can sound pretty minor, no matter how one assigns fault, but the incident has cost Gibson his $1.44 million a year job, so it is hardly trivial.
Criminal Minds fans are also suffering a huge loss, and many Thomas Gibson fans are boycotting the show until Gibson is returned. There is a massive twitter protest, under the hashtag, #NoHotchNoWatch as well as numerous other related hashtags. Thomas’ character, Aaron Hotchner, affectionately known as Hotch was an integral part of the show, and many fans are saddened by the loss of Hotch, who may be killed off.
Thomas Gibson and Virgil Williams of Criminal Minds have both given their accounts of what happened to the press now. Williams finally opened up about the situation in an interview with People, published on Nov. 12. Williams explained the beginning of the dispute in a way very similar to Gibson’s account.
“He came to me with a line change that he wanted. Because of this particular episode, the change that he wanted hurt the story. I offered him a fix. He didn’t accept the fix. He said, ‘Fix it so I’m happy’ and then walked off.”
Thomas Gibson of Criminal Minds told his version to People on September 22.
“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. He said, ‘Sorry, it’s necessary, and I absolutely have to have it.'”
So far Thomas Gibson and Virgil Williams are on the same page in explaining their Criminal Minds battle. They both explain that there was a disagreement over a single line. The stories match up reasonably well.
At that point, Thomas Gibson agrees that he walked away. He went to tell some of his Criminal Minds co-stars about the discussion he had with Williams, and Williams’ response to the complaint about the line. At this point, Williams entered the room. Virgil Williams explained to People that he went looking for the showrunner so that he could explain the situation.
Criminal Minds writer and co-producer Virgil Williams then claims that Thomas Gibson kicked him in the shin as he walked past him, after a second altercation. Gibson doesn’t deny that his foot made contact with Virgil’s shin, but says it wasn’t intentional, bur rather an accidental reflex.
Thomas Gibson’s account fits easily within this explanation, but it felt different from Gibson’s point of view. Thomas explained to People that Williams was walking straight toward him.
“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.”
The only difference in the sequence of events seems to be that Thomas Gibson says the altercation came after the kick, but Virgil Williams indicates the kick happened after the altercation. Does that detail actually matter? The main point seems to be the intent of the brushing past and the intent of the kick.
Did Criminal Minds writer Virgil Williams intentionally crowd Thomas Gibson, nearly running over him? Did Gibson intend to kick Williams or was he just moving out of the way? Perhaps even Williams and Gibson aren’t entirely sure. It seems a fine line, based entirely on split second inner decisions and reflexes. What we do know is that no one was seriously harmed.
Thomas Gibson and Virgil Williams of Criminal Minds have both had their past mistakes examined over this. The studio brought up that Gibson had two strikes against him, one of which was simply getting a DUI. Gibson lost his driver’s license for a while back in 2013, according to the Daily Mail.
Thomas Gibson’s other so-called strike occurred in 2010 when Gibson complained to director Ian Woolf that he felt a driving stunt he had been involved in left him at risk of injury. He has serious safety concerns after driving very fast over a bridge one night. According to the account in the Daily Mail, Gibson first yelled at Ian Woolf, and then when Woolf yelled back, Gibson shoved him with both hands.
Thomas Gibson of Criminal Minds thought he’d been put at unnecessary risk. Serious injuries do happen during the filming of television and movies. Just look at what happened to Dylan O’Brien. It has been said that O’Brien nearly died in an accident on the set of Maze Runner. A little shoving is certainly nothing compared to being seriously injured on set.
Thomas Gibson believed he’d just had a close call. It is a director’s responsibility to make sure that doesn’t happen. Still, he was ordered to take an eight-hour anger management class. Gibson complied with all the requirements of the course.
Virgil Williams’ record was not spotless either. Willams admitted he’d been suspended once for “raising his voice” on the set.
Thomas Gibson isn’t the only Criminal Minds combatant with strikes, though Virgil Williams’ first strike occurred on a different show. The Daily Mail quotes a TMZ source explaining some other problems involving Williams on an ER set in 2006. It seems there was a disagreement with a young lady who replaced him on the show’s softball team.
“He called the 22-year-old into his office, threatened her life and promised to ruin her career, although there was no sign of violence. Williams was suspended and had to take anger management classes.”
Thomas Gibson and Virgil Williams had a minor-seeming altercation, but it has proved to be very expensive for Gibson and devastating to Criminal Minds fans. Even Williams says he misses writing Hotchner’s part.
RELATED REPORTS FROM THE INQUISITR
Criminal Minds is very much an action series. There are car chases, physical confrontations and murders within the plots. Is it possible that writers and actors get caught up in the emotions of their crime drama action? Actors especially would feel the adrenaline off their action scenes, but writers, too, would have to feel the emotions in order to write convincing scripts.
Thomas Gibson and other Criminal Minds actors and writers are feeling the impact of violent, emotional and physically exerting scenes that may even be dangerous for the actor.
Thomas Gibson and Virgil Williams of Criminal Minds got caught up in a single moment in time. What happened may not be acceptable in modern society, but it is completely understandable within the context of human physiology as it relates to people moving quickly from violent action, however pretended, and immediately into social situations. It can take an actor several hours to calm down physically and emotionally after an intense or violent scene.
Should Thomas Gibson be allowed to return to Criminal Minds considering the circumstances?
[Featured Image by Helga Esteb/Shutterstock]