When Criminal Minds returns for its 12th season, Thomas Gibson will not be part of the cast — the actor was reportedly let go as a result of a tussle on set, reports ABC News.
ABC and CBS jointly released a terse statement that read only that: “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.”
Gibson told People magazine that there were “creative differences on set” that led to a disagreement. “I regret that it occurred,” he said.
According to several sources, including Deadline, that “disagreement” manifested itself in a physical altercation between Gibson and a writer/producer, whereby Gibson actually kicked the man in question. Reportedly, the incident happened weeks ago, after which Gibson was suspended. But it has only been made public now as a result of the firing.
“I love Criminal Minds,” said Gibson, “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.”
The 54-year-old actor has been a cast member of the police procedural drama since it began in 2005. He played agent Aaron Hotchner, the unit chief or the Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) team. Prior to that role, he was also featured in CBS series Chicago Hope, and ABC series Dharma & Greg. Interestingly, Gibson’s very first television role was on a show on CBS as well, in the legal drama Leg Work way back in 1987. He has also appeared on the big screen, most notably in 1992 in Far and Away as the rival of Tom Cruise’s character, both vying for the affection of one woman (played by Nicole Kidman).
Criminal Minds stars an ensemble cast that includes Matthew Gray Gubler, A.J. Cook, Paget Brewster, and Kirsten Vangsness, among others. Previous stars have included Mandy Patinkin, who left the show after the third season, and Jennifer Love Hewitt, who was replaced by Aisha Tyler. Arguably the most popular cast member, Shemar Moore, announced his departure after last season. He was replaced by Adam Rodriguez. Thus, Gibson’s dismissal is just the latest cast switch in a series of musical chairs for the show.
The 12th season premiere of Criminal Minds is scheduled for September 28.