Long-time fans of “Criminal Minds” were understandably upset when they learned that Thomas Gibson, who played Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) team leader Aaron “Hotch” Hotchner, was fired after being involved in an on-set altercation with one of the show’s writers and producers, Virgil Williams.
After Gibson was fired, the CBS crime show decreased in ratings and several Twitter campaigns, most noticeably #NoHotchNoWatch, were launched in an effort to get the actor and his character back. After all, Hotch was an integral part of the BAU.
Williams has now opened up about the alleged assault that got Gibson fired in August. Explaining his version of the events that took place, the “Criminal Minds” writer told People, “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.”
Shortly after this conversation, Williams claims that Gibson kicked him in the shin as he walked by him.
However, the former “Criminal Minds” actor told a different version to People. He claimed, “He came into that room and started coming towards me. As he brushed past me, my foot came up and tapped him on the leg. If I hadn’t moved, he would have run into me. We had some choice words, for which I apologized the next day, and that was it. It was over. We shot the scene, I went home – and I never got to go back.”
Williams has once been suspended from set because he raised his voice.
The “Criminal Minds” producer also said that the 54-year-old actor created a hostile work environment.
However, Williams admitted that, like fans, he misses Hotch on the show. “[The fans] got to watch him, but I got to write him.” Furthermore, writing off Gibson’s character hasn’t been easy for him, “It hasn’t been smooth. It [Hotch’s exit] 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.”
Williams signed off by saying, “I pray for him,” he says. “I hope that he’s getting time with his family. I hope the best for the guy.”
“Criminal Minds” Season 12 airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. EST on CBS.