Thomas Gibson Fired From ‘Criminal Minds’ After Violent Incident

Criminal Minds Thomas Gibson fired
Courtesy of CBS

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.

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  1. Dale says:

    The show. Will end now. It’s a shame they fired him alterations happen all the time work it. Out. The producers. Of the show need to go. And Aschner back

  2. says:

    Love the show but i can not imagine how personally draining to all of the actors having to deal with the psychological and emotional trauma the stories affected them. This guy as the leader of the team, they should not have fired him. He is the glue that makes the team successful in their mission: Keeping the world safer for all of us. Sorry, he was fired.

  3. Debbie Joy says:

    Everyone is upset that he was fired. Me too!! But this was his fault and there are other actors that can take his place. For example: the guy who played on CSI – Miami (cannot remember name – redhead) or oscar winner who played CSI. They are not bullies and good actors. Choose one of them they ate strong actors. NO! Bullies!! Keep show going. Bring Derek Morgan back too.

  4. Ms Maureen Allen says:

    Need to bring back Thomas Gibson to Criminal Minds and the actor who played Derek Morgan. The same isn’t the same. It needs its original cast!

  5. Sandra Holstein says:

    I still support Thomas Gibson, I miss Shemar and I don’t enjoy the show as much as I used to….

  6. Denise says:

    What a shame. I have watched the show since day one. Gibson was a huge part of the show and have wondered what happened since he just disappeared from the show. I think the writers have historically done a good job writing characters off. (Although I’m still mourning Shemar since his retirement.) It sounds like Gibson hasn’t taken to heart the opportunities to get sober and take a look at himself and listen to what others are telling him. I sure would have preferred to see a strict disciplinary action taken giving him a final chance to sober up (social drinkers don’t get arrested for drunk driving.) He surely could benefit from rehab and a 12 Step Program like AA!! It sounds like he has had several opportunities to clean up his behavior and hasn’t gotten the message. A forced 30 day rehab followed by compulsinary AA would likely do the trick IF he would shut his mouth and listen to what others are saying. I feel bad for his 3 kids. If he does this stuff in public he must be a real treat to live with. Unfortunately his poor choices have not only hurt him but millions of Criminal Mind and Gibson fans. Assaulting someone is a crime and he earned his forced unemployment. Maybe criminal charges would have gotten his attention. He sure opened a few doors that could have served as an opportunity to hit his bottom. I’m sorry now wasn’t done to force his hand but people do what they know to do and I fear for Gibson this is just another troubled event of more to come. I hope and PRAY he gets what he needs and that he can find the courage to get some much needed help.
    I don’t blame management for letting him go. It seems his history spoke up and forced their hand. It’s too bad. He seems like a really great guy.

  7. Valentina says:

    NOOOOOOOOO! It’s awful! I looked Criminal minds because of Gibson! He’s very harismatic actor! T__T You killed me…

  8. Katy says:

    Just not the same…. :(

  9. Cat says:

    How why and when what in the world u can not just kill him off no never

  10. Debbie says:

    I guess I won’t be watching criminal minds anymore the actors are gone

  11. dogbows says:

    The best way to bring Gibson back is to boycott the sponsors not the show!

  12. Carol says:

    It was bad enough when Shemar left now Gibson. He should not have been fired for such a small incident after all his loyalty to the show. It’s a shame when the employer or producer can’t see all the good he has done for the show and only sees that one mistake. Like he can be so easily replaced. That does it for me I just turned off criminal minds I do not want to watch it any more. If a producer has the power to ruin a life or a man’s lively hood over something like that. After all those years shame on him. I predict the show want last much longer anyway after all the bad changes.

  13. Debbie Helen McGuire says:

    Thomas Gibson is a very good actor he needs to stay in the show it wont be criminal minds with out him so there has to be a way for him to stay if they put any body else in his place I will not watch it an I think a lot a people a feel the same way I live in montana I started watching criminal minds when it first aried so please have him stay.

  14. Kim says:

    Many many actors have behaved worse. You are making a big mistake by firing him. Get over yourself and do the right thing. ……. hire him back

  15. Jennifer olmo says:

    Ah come on man! Bring Gibson back!! He is indeed the show. His character is what caught my attention and made me be a fan since day one. Shemar already left, and it was hard to accept not seeing him on the show…and now not seeing Gibson, SUCKS!! Please bring him back! Make amends and forgive each other. The show might lose viewings.

  16. Sherril says:

    Please notify me when the new epoisodes .
    Thank you

  17. Jim says:

    If Hotch goes I go. I’ve watched every episode if he leaves the show, I won’t watch anymore.

  18. Gary says:

    Gideon was my favorite. After he left Hotch and Spencer Reid. However the problem with today’s society is we feel no one should be held accountable. If Thomas Gibson has pushed and kicked staff he should be let go. I do wish some how he could stay, but if he can not control his temper then yes he should be let go.

  19. John says:

    You people have to be kidding me he was the biggest part of the show the show will not make it any longer readings will go down not fair I think We will no longer watch the show anymore and I love form all my friends which I have over 1000 friends and told her friends not to watch the show anymore we were big fans this was a bad move

  20. snabblån says:

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  21. Lourdes Beadling says:

    We want Thomas Gibson on Criminal Minds people should learn to forgive and give another chance he made Criminal Minds he’s a very good actor

  22. Christy says:

    Makes me sad I love the character

  23. Sharyn Janssen says:

    I will definitely miss Aaron. The team is awesome all together. I hate to think of it breaking up. HOW DO HIS COWORKERS FEEL ABOUT THIS CHANGE?

  24. Bite Me Yes says:

    I lost interest after losing Derrick but now Hotch too. This should have been worked out in order to complete this season at the very least. What’s going on? Get your staff under control…Poor management…@the rest of the crew my deepest sympathies you guys were great…@ CBS you blew it….goodbye and good luck.

  25. Robin says:

    I was so upset when Derek left, and now, with my favorite Hotch gone, I, a once extremely devoted fan, will no longer be watching “Criminal Minds”. I understand that his behavior may have left the producers no choice, but Hitch WAS the essence of the show. Derek was the icing on the cake. This totally sucks for fans

  26. Marion says:

    I Thought about not watching when Derick left now With Hotch gone… I will not be watching…. I was a very faithful criminal minds fan

  27. Rachel, I liked him too, but he’s a grown man. They already had given him lots of chances. What a drain he must have been on the set with those outbursts. Now I wonder if Shamar and Paget couldn’t take his behavior either.
    The producers can’t continue to reward outbursts and violent behavior just because we liked his character. It was a move he forced them to make. If someone where you work were to repeatedly act out and then nailed you with a kick, he’d have to go. Anyway, I hope you give the show a second chance. The writing is excellent, the new characters bring more possibilities and maybe the change will push Gibson to get serious about behavioral recovery. Given time, if he straightens out his issues, he’ll work in TV again. In the interim I’m especially looking forward to seeing the character of Emily Prentiss again.

  28. Rachel says:

    I was hoping the producer’s would reconsider and give him another chance. Everyone makes mistakes and have bad days, we are all imperfect. Hotch was the glue of the show and frankly I won’t be watching anymore.
    You can go ahead end the show.

  29. I am so disappointed that Thomas Gibson won’t be back. I won’t watch the show again, even the last one where we find out how you get rid of him. Shemar leaving was a big mistake also. Doesn’t anyone consider the viewers?????????

  30. Lyn Baggett says:

    Very sad. I was shocked when “Morgan” left and now this
    I wish the rest of the staff the best
    Will just watch re runs now

  31. cindy graves says:

    I am sure there are many different ways to deal with the situation that caused his dismal. But for this huge fan, I will be very sorry to see him go. There have been to many actors /actresses leave, example, the actress who played “Prentice “. I was so upset Shemar Moore left. Quit getting the good ones to leave!!

  32. Paula Rother says:

    Without Derek AND Hotch, the show will certainly be different. Will watch a few episodes then decide if the quality has been maintained. Who will be the BAU leader?

  33. Cricket says:

    Hotch was is and always will be ‘Criminal Minds’. Not watching anymore since the show has been gutted worse than any episode ever could be.

  34. You are so foolish for taking Thomas Gibson. He was perfect for the part of Hotchner. I don’t want to watch the show without him. I love the entire team, but you made a BIG mistake. No one will be able to take his role and do it justice. I’m upset and angry about this disastrous decision. Swallow your pride and find a way to take him back. .

    • KElaine says:

      You and others commenting the show is wrong for firing Hotch for such unprofessional and disruptive behavior in the workplace have lost your minds! Just for the sake of a character?? Especially after ready the details in this article. I wonder how many of you will deal with this behavior subjected towards you in your workplace. As an HR professional, he should’ve been gone a long time ago.

      • caz says:

        Because obviously you were on set and you witnessed what really happened…and you also believe everything the media tell you & only one side of the story..Wow. I personally agree with one previous commenter: it seems we are only getting one side of this story.. the producers’. Producers who seem to treat the actors on this series like cattle, firing them and re-hiring them at will…it ‘s therefore not a stretch to imagine that one of them treated Gibson like dirt and provoked him by walking into him. What would you do in this case? Take the insult/provocation with a smile? These guys work 15 hrs days.I am against violence, verbal or other, but let’s face it, If you are being treated like crap by your producer & he is trying to provoke you, I imagine that one day you ll snap. Looks to me like the producer should have got a warning too. But , like YOU, I wasn’t on set was I? It’s all speculation.

  35. portia williams says:

    This show will never be the same. I could deal with the fact that the character Prentiss was gone,now Shemar Moore and Thomas Gibson.I am finished!!!! I am sad!

  36. Ginny says:

    Mr. Gibson’s acting was always superb. He is the boss that the team always looked up too. They have messed with this cast too many times. This matter could have been handled privately behind the scenes. There is something really rotten about this. This show will never be the same. Why watch it now?

    • Darla says:

      You got that right. Criminal Minds will not be the same and I’m not sure if I will continue watching. My husband and I have been watching this ever since it started. This is a very sad situation for Thomas Gibson but I hope that he will get the help he needs because he is such a good actor.

  37. judee m corella says:

    please don’t fire Thomas gibson. he is needed in the series. he should be fined or even arrested, but the show needs his character to go on. thank you. judee m corella

  38. Connie says:

    Mr. Gibson (Hotch), with all your family sacrifices over the past decade for this show is a shame in light of their harsh punishment. I will no longer be an avid watcher nor fan. The person responsible for firing Hotch really made a hugh mistake. Several of my friends and family will also not be watching. I would like to know what was done to provoke Mr. Gibson.

  39. ME says:

    Didn’t think I could take the exit of Derek and now Hodge will be gone too..will not wait the show again!

  40. Pat Woody says:

    The show will not be the same. They just keep either firing someone like Emily, then let her come back, gone again. They even let JJ go once. We all have heard about actors that are difficult. They are not easy to deal with. But since he has been on this show so long it shows they should know how important he is to the success of the show.

    What caused this meltdown? One in 2010 and 2016. Been on the air for how long? Come on

  41. kim says:

    I will no longer watch criminal minds

  42. J.J. says:

    First Shemar left now Hotch and now me. And to think I bought all the seasons even pre-ordering 11. What a dirty waste for the networks to have let go 2 big big talents. Who is next Matthew or Joe? Probably because idiot executives who dont even watch the shows because they are too busy counting their money dont give a rip about the fans who put that money in their greedy fat hands.

  43. The hitch in this story is it’s one sided. Sure he had a DUI and got into “creative differences” on the set. that is nothing new in Hollywood and why i don’t work there. BUT…. What bothers me is, and i am not making excuses for violent behavior, let that be clear; but what was said to have provoked him. i notice that that part is absent. it’s all about what he’s done wrong and his history. But we all know people just don’t freak out and kick someone for no reason.

    My guess is the producer was doing what they always do and acting like a soulless jerk provoking him. demeaning him and telling him to shut up and just do your job and be quiet and Gibson stuck his foot up his ass.

    i know how those producers are and the vultures (so called back stabbing talent) are on sets. it’s like being in middle school and your teacher is a soul sucking manipulative tyrant. To be honest it takes a certain type of person to tolerate that business. it’s not for everyone it can drive you insane or turn you into a drug addict. They may get paid an extravagant amount but if you are working for the wrong producer or director your in trouble.

    that’s why most actors want to do movies cause if they have a bad boss it’s only for a couple months.

  44. Mary Jackson says:

    BT Barnum once said, “The show must go on!”

    Without Hotch it will not be the same!

    Good luck Hotch!!

  45. Christie Gillard says:

    I’ve watched Criminal Minds from the very beginning. Having my 2 favorite actors leaving breaks my heart. Yes I love tge whoke team, they were a perfect fit but those 2 were “it”! Don’t kbiw if I will be abke to watch it anymore. Ill try but no promises. Ill miss my Hotch and most def my sexy Shemar Moore.♡ Will miss y’all :-(

  46. Amanda says:

    Another great show done ! Too bad these adult children can’t get along.

  47. Kyle Cash says:

    It’s ridiculous that they would fire Gibson over this. The mature thing would have been for Gibson and the producer to apologize to one another and then reach a compromise for the sake of the show. With two long standing cast members gone there is no way Criminal Minds can continue. I hope the producers are happy they just lost a loyal fan and I’m sure many others as well.

  48. Catherine says:

    As an avid viewer of Criminal Minds, since it first appeared, the high number of individuals who have been leaving the program, had always been accompanied by the explanation of the writers, producers and a number of directors who could not- would not – leave the awesome stories and the way they forced the amazing actors to change, greatly the character’s nature to “sensationalize,” their core, essentially personality traits of the established nature that are a personal affront to the actors, as well as those of us who are constantly exposed to the deterioration of the quality of what little remains, as a more intelligent and informative viewing choice from the network archetypal destructive individuals who have nothing to offer anyone who is even capable of possessing a scintilla of intelligence. Personally, I think that Thomas deserves a medal for putting up with the dumbing down of the American viewers, and as an actor, of great significance, it is a most distressing experience for one of the best of the best on a long running series, where the best continue to leave rather than put up with anymore destruction of a once great series.

  49. Diane says:

    I am upset about this. What will criminal minds be without Hotch?

  50. Ben says:

    Maybe the producer provoked him ? Sets can be nasty places full of egos, power play and mind games…Especially producers, assistant directors and other non-creative, no-talent people on the sets can be a pain in the a*s. They have no understanding of the artistic process, the need to have a focused and quiet set, but they act like they are VERY important all the time and have little respect for actors. It’s amazing that Thomas Gibson stayed 12 years, but it probably got on his nerves. To have “kicked a producer” actually doesn’t sound that bad to me. Some deserve it, believe me ;-)

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