Time to say goodbye to Aaron Hotchner. Thomas Gibson, who plays the FBI special agent on Criminal Minds, is leaving the long-running CBS crime procedural, producers announced on Friday, August 12. The news follows the actor’s altercation with a show writer, which went public on August 11.
“Thomas Gibson has been dismissed from Criminal Minds,” ABC Studios and CBS Television Studios said in a statement released to Us Weekly. “Creative details for how the character’s exit will be addressed in the show will be announced at a later date.”
Gibson addressed his exit in a statement released to Us: “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 54-year-old actor, who has starred on the drama since the September 2005 pilot, had previously been suspended for two episodes after reports surfaced that he kicked a writer in the leg on the set a few weeks ago during a spat about a season 12 episode that Gibson was directing.
“There were creative differences on the set and a disagreement,” the Dharma and Greg alum said in a statement on August 11. “I regret that it occurred. We all want to work together as a team to make the best show possible. We always have and always will.”
A source told Us that the on-set spat was a “minor disagreement,” and that Gibson is a “kind-hearted family man.”
This was already a time of transition for the popular show. Original series star Shemar Moore (Derek Morgan) said goodbye in season 11, while Paget Brewster (Emily Prentiss) returns in a recurring capacity for season 12.
Tell Us: Will you still watch Criminal Minds without Thomas Gibson?
Criminal Minds returns to CBS Wednesday, September 28, at 9 p.m. ET.
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