Viewers of “Criminal Minds” are missing BAU unit chief Aaron Hotchner after star Thomas Gibson’s well-publicized firing following a physical altercation with writer/producer Virgil Williams, who admits that he misses Hotch as much as fans do.
“[The fans] got to watch him, but I got to write him,” Williams tells People, which caught up with him at Ghetto Film School Los Angeles, where he hosted an interactive workshop for students hoping to launch careers in the entertainment industry.
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During his chat, a student asked about the difficulties faced when writing a major character off a TV series.
“It hasn’t been smooth,” Williams says about Hotch’s exit from the show. “It 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 also opens up about the incident that led to Gibson being suspended and then outright fired from the show.
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“He came to me with a line change that he wanted. Because of this particular episode, the change that he wanted hurt the story,” Williams says. “I offered him a fix. He didn’t accept the fix. He said, ‘Fix it so I’m happy’ and then walked off.”
Williams admits that he was was actually suspended once himself for raising his voice on set, and believes that Gibson created a “hostile work environment.” And while he thinks it’s unlikely he’ll ever work with Gibson again, he says he only has positive wishes for the actor.
“I pray for him,” he says. “I hope that he’s getting time with his family. I hope the best for the guy.”