Aaron “Hotch” Hotchner’s portrayer tells People.com that on July 26, while filming the second episode of the upcoming 12th season, he questioned a line of dialogue, but was overruled by co-executive producer/writer Virgil Williams. Later, when Gibson was relating the differing of opinions to castmates, Williams “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,” the actor says.
Following said “kick,” “We had some choice words, for which I apologized the next day, and that was it. It was over,” Gibson says. “We shot the scene, I went home — and I never got to go back,” suspended as he originally was for two episodes, before eventually being fired, as announced on Aug. 12.
As a result, the “temporary” special assignment that was to take Hotch off-screen for two episodes will somehow dovetail into the character’s permanent exit. Paget Brewster, who was already on her way back to the CBS drama as Emily Prentiss, to temporarily cover for Hotch during his absence, was subsequently upgraded to series regular status. CBS isn’t saying how exactly Hotch will be written out, but TVLine offered some ideas in the photo gallery below.
“It seems like they’re trying to erase me from the show,” Gibson told People.com. “My pride and reputation are hurt, but in the end I know the good work is what people will remember. I just need more opportunities to do good work and be a good guy.”