Thomas Gibson, formerly of Criminal Minds and Dharma and Greg, has captured the hearts of fans in a way few stars have ever managed. While many young heartthrobs have thrilled audiences, and even aging stars retain loyal fans, Thomas’ fans have gone above and beyond what one would expect.
Criminal Minds began in 2005, but many Thomas Gibson fans have been following his career since the 1980s and early 1990s. Gibson has a long-standing career in movies and television. Thomas’ work, as listed below from TV Buddy, is extensive.
2005-2016: Criminal Minds – Aaron ‘Hotch’ Hotchner (256 episodes)
1997-2002: Dharma & Greg – Greg Montgomery (119 episodes)
1994-1998: Chicago Hope – Dr. Daniel Nyland (70 episodes)
Long Before Criminal Minds, Thomas Gibson began his career with single episode appearances and in the soaps. Thomas also made a lot of movies. For more on Thomas Gibson’s long and successful career, read this from the Inquisitr.
2007: I’ll Believe You – Kyle Sweeney
2006: In from the Night – Aiden Byrnes
2005: Berkeley – Thomas the Valet
2005: Come Away Home – Gary
2004: Category 6: Day of Destruction – Mitch Benson
2003: Evil Never Dies – Detective Mark Ryan
2003: Brush with Fate – Richard
2003: Manhood – Faith’s Attorney
2001: The Lost Empire – Nicholas Orton
2001: Jack the Dog – Faith’s Attorney
2000: Stardom – Renny Ohayon
2000: The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas – Chip Rockefeller
2000: Psycho Beach Party – Kanaka
1999: Eyes Wide Shut – Carl Thomas
1998: Nightmare Street – Dr. Matt Westbrook/Joe Barnes
1997: The Devil’s Child – Alexander Rotha
1997: The Next Step – Bartender
1997: The Inheritance – James Percy
1996: To Love, Honor, and Deceive – Matthew Carpenter/Stuart Buchanan
1996: Night Visitors – Ross Williams
1995: Secrets – Hailus Tuckman
1994: Sleep with Me – Nigel
1994: Men of War – Warren
1994: Barcelona – Dickie Taylor
1993: Love & Human Remains – David
1992: Far and Away – Stephen Chase
1988: Lincoln – William Sprague
Criminal Minds star Thomas Gibson was terminated from the role of Aaron Hotchner by ABC and CBS. Many avid Criminal Minds, fans became determined to boycott the show, claiming unfair treatment of Thomas Gibson and alleging that the veteran actor was the victim of a smear campaign.
If Criminal Minds, ABC, and CBS intended to smear Thomas Gibson’s name, the plan certainly backfired. Thomas has a long history in the television and film industry, and an incredibly strong fanbase. In the end, a large segment of the Criminal Minds viewing audience became outraged by media statements against the Criminal Minds veteran.
Criminal Minds, ABC, and CBS widely spread the story that Thomas Gibson and Virgil Williams had a violent altercation. ABC and CBS alluded that Gibson was at fault, allegedly kicking Criminal Minds Co-Executive Producer Virgil Williams.
Thomas Gibson maintains that the two accidentally bumped into each other, and Gibson’s foot tapped Williams’ leg as Williams brushed by him. Virgil Williams description of the incident was similar. It all seems to be a matter of intent. For more, see this from the Inquisitr.
For Criminal Minds, the backlash was swift and powerful as fans refused to believe anything negative about Thomas Gibson, a man so dedicated to his job he hadn’t missed a single episode in 11 years. Angry fans gathered on Twitter determined to vindicate Thomas Gibson.
Thomas Gibson fans continue to boycott Criminal Minds and hold massive Twitter protests each Wednesday evening under the hashtag #NoHotchNoWatch. As news of the Criminal Minds boycotts and discontent with the show’s plot spread, the group of boycotting fans grew.
Criminal Minds was the original target of the boycott, but eventually, the #NoHotchNoWatch boycott spread to a general boycott of ABC and CBS. The two networks share ownership of the show, and the decision to fire Gibson appears to have come from the networks.
Thomas Gibson inspired some of the greatest loyalty ever seen either in fan groups or in boycotts. While few boycotts maintain their strength over long periods, #NoHotchNoWatch is gearing up for its second season, and the group has grown exponentially since its inception.
The Criminal Minds boycott by #NoHotchNoWatch has been a smart protest by the standards listed in Harvard Business Review. There are four points that make a protest work. The points include a passion among protesters, an inexpensive way to participate, a clear and simple cause, and obtaining media attention.
Criminal Minds soon discovered the passion of Thomas Gibson fans. #NoHotchNoWatch is hardcore and out to protect their BAU chief, Aaron Hotchner. They love Gibson and his character Hotch, and although they used to love Criminal Minds, they are angry.
The Criminal Minds boycott has no costs associated with it. Not watching Criminal Minds is free. Protesting on Twitter is free for those with internet service as well.
The Criminal Minds boycott situation is “easy to understand.” It isn’t a complex issue as people who don’t like the show without Thomas Gibson don’t watch it anymore. That much would have happened naturally. In one sense, the #NoHotchNoWatch is only accelerating what would have happened anyway. The quality of the show has reportedly suffered from the absence of Thomas Gibson, and some viewers would have dropped out anyway.
Criminal Minds Season 12 saw plummeting ratings, and the #NoHotchNoWatch Season 13 plans should have ABC and CBS concerned.
NoHotchNoWatch has received media support, and that is perhaps ABC and CBS’ fault for starting a scandal. Independent reporters sought out the facts and found #NoHotchNoWatch. ABC and CBS have been confronted with petitions about casting and scheduling changes, but few protests have been so tenacious as #NoHotchNoWatch.
Thomas Gibson’s #NoHotchNoWatch is not the only boycott facing CBS and ABC. Some groups have become disgruntled with the alleged slant by mainstream CNN, CBS and ABC news. Another group is planning boycotts because of the cancellation of Tim Allen’s Last Man Standing.
RELATED REPORTS FROM THE INQUISITR
Criminal Minds boycotts have spread to the boycotting of two major networks, and it will be interesting to see how the #NoHotchNoWatch movement might be strengthened by the coinciding boycotts. If those who doubt the integrity of mainstream news, coupled with Tim Allen fans, are as tenacious as Thomas Gibson fans, and reportedly in greater numbers, ABC and CBS networks should consider making a few concessions. #NoHotchNoWatch isn’t going away.
The Criminal Minds boycott at #NoHotchNoWatch meets every Wednesday night to honor Thomas Gibson.
[Featured Image by Francois Durand/Getty Images]