Thomas Gibson details ‘Criminal Minds’ firing

Thomas Gibson has detailed his side of the circumstances behind his being fired last month from the CBS drama “Criminal Minds.”

In online excerpts from an interview in the new issue of People magazine, Gibson, 54, expanded on an earlier statement that had acknowledged “creative differences on the set and a disagreement.” Saying now that it occurred between himself and writer-producer Virgil Williams while shooting the second episode of the upcoming 12th season, Gibson explained, “I went to Virgil and told him there was a line that I thought contradicted an earlier line. He said, ‘Sorry, it’s necessary, and I absolutely have to have it.’ ”

Gibson, who had played FBI Special Agent Aaron Hotchner on the show since its inception, said he was describing to other cast members his frustration over the impasse when 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,” Gibson recalled. “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.”

Approximately two weeks after initially being suspended by the production company, ABC Studios, Gibson was fired on Aug. 12. The company said in a statement, “Creative details for how the character’s exit will be addressed in the show will be announced at a later date.”

“It seems like they’re trying to erase me from the show,” the actor told People.

“I feel like it took years to make a good reputation and a minute to damage it,” Gibson said, adding, “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.”

Williams did not respond to a Newsday request for comment. A CBS spokesman referred a request to ABC Studios, which did not respond.