Actor Thomas Gibson has been fired from the CBS drama “Criminal Minds” after 11 seasons in the wake of an on-set altercation with a producer.
“Thomas Gibson has been dismissed from ‘Criminal Minds,’ ” ABC Studios and CBS TV Studios said in a statement Friday. “Creative details for how the character’s exit will be addressed in the show will be announced at a later date.”
Gibson’s character of Aaron Hotchner is expected to appear in two episodes of the upcoming season, which bows Sept. 28. But the actor will not return to the show’s set for any additional filming, making it a challenge for producers to write out the character that has been a stalwart of the FBI profilers drama since its inception in 2005.
Gibson issued a statement expressing his appreciation for the show and its fans over the years.
“I love ‘Criminal Minds’ and have put my heart and soul into it for the last twelve 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 statement said.
Gibson’s dismissal comes after “Criminal Minds” producer ABC Studios conducted an internal review of an incident that came during filming about two weeks ago. Gibson is said to have kicked a producer on the show who has been identified by TMZ as Virgil Williams. Gibson is also known to have had an violent outburst involving a “Criminal Minds” assistant director in 2010, which resulted in the studio sending him to anger-management classes.
As word of his suspension from the show spread earlier this week, numerous industry sources have noted that Gibson was known to be a volatile presence on the “Criminal Minds” set. The actor was said to have frequently been verbally abusive to fellow cast and crew members. One source with knowledge of the 2010 incident — which allegedly involved Gibson shoving the assistant director — said many staff members were dismayed that he was not let go at that time.
In January 2013, Gibson was arrested in downtown Los Angeles on suspicion of drunk driving after driving his car through a barricade on a street cordoned off for a marathon event. He pleaded no contest to alcohol-related reckless driving. He received probation and was ordered to attend alcohol education classes.
“Criminal Minds” has weathered plenty of star turnover during its long run. Mandy Patinkin famously left the show after its second season, saying he could no longer stomach the violent nature of the procedural about FBI criminal profilers. Joe Mantegna has been Gibson’s co-star since the 2007-08 season. Another original cast member, Shemar Moore, bowed out after season 11.
Gibson had an integral role on “Criminal Minds” as the Aaron Hotchner, known as “Hotch,” the head of the profiler unit. The actor has long commuted to the “Criminal Minds” set in Glendale, Calif., from his home in San Antonio, Texas, where his three children live.
Gibson grew up in Charleston, S.C., and became involved in theater at a young age. He attended the Juilliard School on a scholarship, graduating in 1985. His big break as an actor came in landing a role in the 1992 Tom Cruise-Nicole Kidman starrer “Far and Away.” He toplined the ABC sitcom “Dharma & Greg” opposite Jenna Elfman from 1997-2002.