Going into Season 12, Criminal Minds experienced its biggest changes yet, with the suspension-turned-firing of Thomas Gibson, and then his subsequent replacing. Gibson was booted from the drama after an altercation with Virgil Williams, the writer of the episode the actor was directing at the time, and Williams has finally opened up with his side of how things went down. Here’s how he said it started.
He came to me with a line change that he wanted. Because of this particular episode, the change that he wanted hurt the story. I offered him a fix. He didn’t accept the fix. He said, ‘Fix it so I’m happy’ and then walked off.
Virgil Williams then stated there was a second altercation that happened between the men, and as the writer was trying to track down the showrunner to figure things out, Thomas Gibson reportedly kicked him in the shin as he walked by. This seems to be as far as it went between them, and though that suspension didn’t come immediately, it did quickly change into a termination, ending Gibson’s long run on the CBS drama.
During a recent workshop he gave for Ghetto Film School Los Angeles, Virgil Williams gave his side of the story to People, and it most certainly goes against how Thomas Gibson said things happened. The actor claimed he accidentally lifted his leg as Williams was walking past, striking him, and that he apologized for it the next day and everything was settled. But we all know things didn’t play out quite so calmly, or else we’d still be watching Hotch on Criminal Minds, and Paget Brewster wouldn’t have returned.
The transition hasn’t been the easiest for all involved, and Virgil Williams says that writing for the show in the aftermath of Thomas Gibson’s firing has come with its own troubles.
It hasn’t been smooth. It was very abrupt. But we tried to do it seamlessly and move on. We’re going to keep moving forward and we’re going to keep telling great stories.
Not that Criminal Minds still has all of the viewers it did last year. There has been a subsection of the viewership that has boycotted the show following Gibson’s removal, with the hashtag “#NoHotchNoWatch” as the rallying cry. It’s unclear if this will continue to be a problem for Criminal Minds, or just a temporary snag.
Currently five episodes into its season, Criminal Minds airs Wednesday nights on CBS. Are you one of the ones still watching, or were you too tethered to Thomas Gibson to continue? Let us know, and in the meantime, check out our fall schedule and midseason schedule to see what’s hitting the small screen soon.