Thomas Gibson is voicing his disappointment about his firing from Criminal Minds, which was announced Thursday by CBS Studios and ABC Studios.
“I love Criminal Minds and have put my heart and soul into it for the last 12 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,” Gibson said in a statement provided to EW.
Gibson’s dismissal from the CBS crime drama comes after he was suspended for getting into an on-set altercation with one of the show’s writers. A source close to Gibson said the actor “instinctively” kicked a writer in the shin after an argument about the show’s creative direction escalated.
The 54-year-old actor had played Agent Hotchner since the drama debuted in 2005. In addition to his starring role, Gibson also directed six episodes and was set to direct another in season 12, but that was nixed following the suspension.
Criminal Minds is down two original cast members as it enters season 12; series star Shemar Moore announced he was leaving the show in the spring. However, executive producer Erica Messer has expressed optimism about the show’s upcoming year — particularly since Paget Brewster and Aisha Tyler are returning.
Criminal Minds returns to CBS on Wednesday, Sept. 28.