By Erin Strecker
September 14, 2012 at 05:04 PM EDT
Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

Homeland star Mandy Patinkin’s biggest career regret? Appearing on CBS’s Criminal Minds for two seasons, from 2005-2007, before his abrupt departure.

“The biggest public mistake I ever made was that I chose to do Criminal Minds in the first place,” the actor told New York magazine. “I thought it was something very different. I never thought they were going to kill and rape all these women every night, every day, week after week, year after year. It was very destructive to my soul and my personality. After that, I didn’t think I would get to work in television again.”

While his current project, Homeland, is quite violent as well, Patinkin tells New York he sees the two shows differently. “I’m not making a judgment on the taste [of people who watch crime procedurals],” he says. “But I’m concerned about the effect it has. Audiences all over the world use this programming as their bedtime story. This isn’t what you need to be dreaming about. A show like Homeland is the antidote. It asks why there’s a need for violence in the first place.”

UPDATE: Below is a statement released to EW from Criminal Minds‘ executive producer, Erica Messer:

Criminal Minds is about the heroes who protect men, women and children everyday. Mandy is an outstanding actor and we wish him continued success with Homeland.”

Read more:

‘Homeland’: Watch first 20 minutes of new season — VIDEO

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Emmy Awards: ‘Homeland’ star Damian Lewis on his nomination, and singing with co-star Mandy Patinkin