The people behind the hit TV series Criminal Minds has announced that they have fired Thomas Gibson. Gibson, who plays Aaron Hotchner, has allegedly been let go over a recent rift with a writer in which he is said to have kicked the writer. Apparently, this is not the first incident, and executives say Gibson has undergone anger management therapy in the past for similar incidents. Still, I think the execs have made a huge mistakes. Fans are not going to like this.
I am an avid Criminal Minds fan. Over the years, I have seen actors and characters come and go. Some of these changes has taken some serious getting used to, and even though other changes did not require as much adaptation, it is pretty obvious that show executives are now playing with fire. It was one thing to replace Gideon with Rossi (contract issues with Mandy Patenkin) and then to bring the character back later on to kill him off. I got used to Rossi and even came to adore him. It is quite another thing to mess with the heart and soul of this beloved series. We lost Derek Morgan (Shemar Moore) at the end of last season. Now, we will have to say goodbye to Hotch, and execs are not even sure yet about how they plan to exit the character.
They should not even have to plan an exit. Thomas Gibson appeared on Criminal Minds during the third season, 12 years ago. Yes, he took some getting used to, but over the years, Hotch has grown on many a viewer, and no, we do not want to see him go. So what if Gibson had a fight with a writer, and so what if he kicked them? This is not a case of serious violence. And, as a writer myself, I can tell you that maybe Gibson had a right to be angry. Writers can be stubborn in their craft and when an actor does not want to perform something a writer has written, well, writers can be insulted. Still, the actor has a write to make some demands, and the writer has an obligation to listen. Bottom line, executives are messing around too close to the heart of the show, and if this trend continues, fans will disappear.
I have vowed that I will continue watching without Hotch, but if the show decides to mess with the characters of Rossi, Garcia, or Reed, I’m done. I will walk away just like I did when Law and Order SVU lost Stabler.
Update: Gibson is taking legal action!
Update 2: Correction! Gibson has been with the show since its inception, which is what I thought. Several reports have mistakenly said he joined in the third season.