Criminal Minds star Thomas Gibson, who has been with the show for all 11 seasons since it debuted in 2005, has been fired from the series. The actor was involved in an on-set physical altercation with a writer-producer on the show, who has been identified by various outlets as Virgil Williams. The actor reportedly kicked the writer producer after an argument. Here's a statement released by the show's producers, ABC Studios and CBS Television Studios.
"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."
People reports that the incident took place two weeks ago, during an episode that Thomas Gibson was also directing. The actor was initially just suspended after the altercation, where he kicked the writer-producer in the shin. Here's what the actor had to say in a statement about his dismissal.
"I love Criminal Minds and have put my heart and soul into it for the last 12 years. I had hoped to see it through to the end, but that won't be possible now. I would just like to say thank you to the writers, producers, actors, our amazing crew, and most importantly, the best fans that a show could ever hope to have."
A source from the set revealed that Thomas Gibson kicked the writer-producer in the shin, "almost out of instinct." The writer-producer reportedly "seemed all right" at the time, but it became a much bigger issue when his team found out about the incident. Other reports reveal that the actor will appear in the first two episodes of Season 12, but he won't return for any further filming, which will give the show's writers and producers a greater challenge to write off a character who has been on the show since the first episode. Here's what Thomas Gibson had to say in another statement about the incident.
"There were creative differences on the set and a disagreement. I regret that it occurred. We all want to work together as a team to make the best show possible. We always have and we always will."
The actor was also allegedly involved in a physical confrontation on the Criminal Minds set back in 2010 with an assistant director, which lead the network to send Thomas Gibson to anger management classes. Aside from this 11-year stint on Criminal Minds as Aaron Hotchner, Thomas Gibson is also well-known for playing Greg in the hit sitcom Dharma & Greg, alongside Jenna Elfman. He also starred as Dr. Daniel Nyland on the hit drama series Chicago Hope. Stay tuned for more updates on Thomas Gibson's exit from Criminal Minds.