Fans of the long-running CBS procedural series Criminal Minds will be in for quite the surprise when the show returns for its 12th season premiere on September 28th. The show about FBI profilers tasked with apprehending criminals will be without one of the team’s veteran agents. Aaron Hotchner, played by Golden Globe-nominated actor Thomas Gibson, will be written off the show completely thanks to Gibson’s on-set altercation earlier this week.
As THR reports, the actor apparently kicked one of the show’s writers on set. Initially facing a possible suspension of one or two episodes, Gibson and his character are now off Criminal Minds completely. The details are still fuzzy, but the incident occurred while Gibson was directing an episode from Season 12, during which time he had a dispute with the episode’s writer. Eyewitness accounts said that they got into an argument, both sides got heated, and Gibson reacted to the aggression with a kick to said writer. Though this wasn’t the first incident – Gibson pushed a producer years ago and had to attend anger management, but was not suspended – Gibson had been signed on for the 12th season; that’s over now.
Here’s the official response from 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.”
Gibson had the opportunity to respond to the studios’ decision in two separate statements, yesterday and today:
“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.”
“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.”
I’m left wondering if an earlier edit of this press release thanked all the writers except the one he kicked. Unfortunately, the nature of the kick has yet to be sufficiently described. I’m under the impression that the writer is just fine after the incident, but we’ll update the story if any more information comes to light.