Last week, we reported that the long-running CBS series Criminal Minds has fired its star Thomas Gibson, who had been with the show for all 11 seasons it's been on the air. The dismissal came after a violent on-set confrontation where the actor reportedly kicked a writer-producer identified by several outlets as Virgil Williams. Today we have word that the dismissed actor may be gearing up to file a lawsuit against his former employer over the firing, while one of his former co-stars, Shemar Moore, speaks out about the firing.
The Hollywood Reporter reveals that Thomas Gibson hired prominent Los Angeles entertainment lawyer Skip Miller and his partner Sasha Frid, whose firm Miller Barondess are evaluating whether or not to pursue legal claims. At the time of the violent altercation, Thomas Gibson was both starring in and directing an episode that Virgil Williams wrote, when Gibson reportedly disagreed about a creative choice, which escalated into a physical fight. Sources claim that Gibson's actions were in self-defense, since Williams reportedly trains as a boxer, but other sources state that Williams is a "non-aggressive presence" on the set and is said to be small in stature. Showrunner Erica Messer and several other producers witnessed the fight.
This new report reveals that, after the attack, Williams filed a formal complaint and conducted an extensive interview with human resources. Initially, Thomas Gibson was merely suspended for two episodes, and another director was brought in to finish work on the episode Gibson was directing. However, just one day after news of the suspension became public, the actor was fired. Howard Davine, executive VP for ABC Studios, the show's lead producer, is reportedly leading the internal investigation.
In related news, one of Thomas Gibson's former co-stars, Shemar Moore, reportedly had some harsh words about Gibson in a cryptic Instagram video, which was later taken down, but saved and re-posted by a Twitter user. While Moore never explicitly mentions Gibson by name in his video, the actors have been said to have a volatile history, with Gibson reportedly often upset at Shemar Moore's tendency to show up late for work on set, since he had tightly scheduled his filming duties so he could fly home to his family in San Antonio. Here's part of Shemar Moore's statement from his deleted Instagram video.
"Lot of birdies chirping out there; the gossip is real. I'll just say this: I believe in karma. Good things happen to good people. Honest people. Hard-working people. Humble people. People who believe in basic goodness. ... Treat people how you expect them to treat you. Celebrate yourself and celebrate your blessings - as you should - but just know that you're not better than anybody."
In a breach of contract complaint filed two years ago by Thomas Gibson's former manager, Craig Dorfman, the manager claimed he, "talked Gibson out of physically attacking Moore." As for Thomas Gibson's exit from the show, he will appear in the first two episodes, but creative details about how he will be written off have not been revealed. It also isn't known what the creative differences were that lead to this altercation, but this isn't the first time he has made headlines for his behavior. 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. Take a look at the now-deleted video Shemar Moore sent out to his Instagram followers that was later deleted, and stay tuned for more updates.