Thomas Gibson is a goner.
Just one day after news broke that Gibson had been suspended from Criminal Minds due to a violent act on set, CBS has now confirmed that the actor has been FIRED.
The move was pretty swift and quite shocking.
Everything has happened very quickly when it comes to this controversy.
Gibson has portrayed lead BAU agent Aaron Hotchner since 2005.
Yesterday morning, we learned that Gibson kicked a writer/producer on the show in the leg after the two had a dispute over the creative direction of the series.
Sources who were in the vicinity of the incident say Gibson was egged on by the writer, Virgil Williams...
... but that Gibson was the one who turned a verbal argument into a physical altercation.
Williams told his agent about what happened; the agent went to the network; and the network punished Gibson.
It seemed like the suspension may last for awhile because this dispute took place over two weeks ago and Gibson has not been back on set since.
The actor didn't deny that he was at fault, either, saying the following in a statement to TMZ:
"There were creative differences on the set and a disagreement. I regret that it occurred. We all want to work together as a team to make the best show possible.
"We always have and always will."
Gibson was arrested for drunk driving in 2010.
That same year, he shoved an assistant director on set, allegedly because the director was moving too slowly.
That scandal was kept mostly quiet at the time, but insiders say CBS executives ordered Gibson to attend anger management classes as a result.
So the guy has a history of violence and of making mistakes in judgment, that much seems obvious.
There had been earlier chatter that he may be fired, but most assumed that decision would not be made for several weeks and that Gibson would be let go at the end of Season 12.
Instead, the axe has come down now.
"Thomas Gibson has been dismissed from Criminal Minds," CBS said this afternoon via statement, adding:
"Creative details for how the character's exit will be addressed in the show will be announced at a later date."
Special Agent Hotchner will likely be sent away on special assignment in order to explain his absence.
We know that he'll appear on the first two episodes of Season 12 and that the first episode in which Gibson will NOT appear will mark an episode on which Paget Brewster returns as Emily Prentiss.
So that works out well for the series.
Speaking on the re-emergence of Prentiss, executive producer Erica Messer told TV Line this summer that she will be "doing essentially temporary duty with us, while Hotch is on temporary duty doing something that the Director tapped him to do.”
Gibson’s Hotchner will therefore be off-screen “for a couple of episodes,” Messer said at the time, concluding:
“And then we’ll get to see what that assignment was about. It’s a big thing that will play out.”
It's an even bigger thing that will play out now... in a way no one could have predicted just a few days ago.
Pretty crazy development, isn't it?
Earlier on Season 11, the lost another mainstay when Shemar Moore left the drama as Derek Morgan.
React to this major news below and then sound off: Will you still watch Criminal Minds online or on television each week without Gibson around?