Thomas Gibson On Criminal Minds Firing: 'It's Like They're Trying To Erase Me'

Former Criminal Minds star Thomas Gibson is opening up about his on-set fight with writer-producer Virgil Williams on July 26, 2016. That squabble got Gibson fired from the long-running CBS procedural in August 2016.

"We were shooting a scene late one night when I went to Virgil and told him there was a line that I thought contradicted an earlier line," Gibson recalled to People magazine in September 2016. "He said, 'Sorry, it's necessary, and I absolutely have to have it.'"

At that point, Gibson claims he proceeded to discuss Williams' comments with his co-stars when Williams suddenly entered the room. "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," Gibson said. "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."

Gibson was initially suspended from the popular drama for two weeks following the incident, which was reported by TMZ on Aug. 11, 2016. That same day, TMZ claimed in a separate report that Gibson had been "aggressive and verbally abusive for years on set" and that network executives once sent him to anger management after he allegedly pushed an assistant director in front of the show's cast and crew.

Gibson's dismissal from the show was confirmed one day later. "Thomas Gibson has been dismissed from Criminal Minds," a statement from ABC Studios and CBS Television Studios read. "Creative details for how the character's exit will be addressed in the show will be announced at a later date."

Gibson issued his own statement to TMZ. "I love Criminal Minds and have put my heart and soul into it for the last twelve years," he said. "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."

"I feel like it took years to make a good reputation and a minute to damage it," he told People. "It seems like they're trying to erase me from the show. That hurts. But I'm using this time to be with my kids, and I look forward to what's next. "Maybe I'll do a comedy, or a play, or direct, or produce."

"My pride and reputation are hurt, but in the end I know the good work is what people will remember," said the 54-year-old actor. "I just need more opportunities to do good work and be a good guy."

Criminal Minds Season 12 premieres Sept. 28, 2016 on CBS. Gibson's character will appear in the first two episodes of the season, but it is still unclear how he will be written of the show.