It’s rare for a long-running series to feature the same cast from start to finish. Sometimes actors want to leave to pursue other projects. Sometimes your destiny is out of your hands as the writers and producers dictate the story. Criminal Minds, which ran for 15 seasons during its original run on CBS, saw a lot of cast turnover over the years. But perhaps nothing was more dramatic than Thomas Gibson’s departure from the show.
Gibson played Aaron “Hotch” Hotchner on the popular crime procedural drama from its debut in 2005 until his departure in 2016. A former FBI prosecutor and profiler, Hotch was a key member of the show’s Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU), who helped with murder investigations by using profilers and analysts to catch and stop killers before they can strike again. Hotch was the unit chief of the BAU and led the team in their investigations. However, Thomas Gibson was written out of the show in season 12 after a shocking backstage moment occurred.
In August 2016, Thomas Gibson was involved in an on-set altercation with Virgil Williams, a writer and producer on Criminal Minds, while Gibson was directing an episode of the show. He apparently kicked Williams and was initially suspended for two episodes. However, later that week, ABC Studios and CBS Studios announced that Gibson had finally been fired over the incident.
“Thomas Gibson has been fired from Criminal Minds,” the statement read. “Creative details on how the character’s exit will be addressed on the show will be announced at a later date.”
This was not the first time Gibson had been involved in an on-set altercation, which may have contributed to the studios’ swift action following the 2016 incident. She has reportedly previously pushed a producer and was, as a result, sentenced to mandatory anger management classes, although he was not suspended at the time. In 2013, Gibson was also arrested on suspicion of DUI.
Thomas Gibson attempted to explain what happened during the altercation that ended his tenure on the show. The actor explained what happened with that fact and although no one assured that it was really like that, the reasons did not seem that he would certainly convince someone. The truth is that the explanation provided does not coincide with something without intention.
“He walked into that room and started coming towards me. As he walked past me, my foot came up and hit him in the leg,” Gibson explained. “If he hadn’t moved me, he would have bumped into me. I apologized the next day for what happened, and that was it. It’s over. We shot the scene, I went home, and now to rest.”
As the series prepares for a possible return at Paramount + and with all eyes on those who would return, the focus is again on Thomas Gibson, who could be an important part of the series and his future. Will they be able to agree in the face of this situation and all this altercation?