Tuesday, September 20, 2016

THOMAS GIBSON FIRED FOR KICKING PRODUCER


This is a link to just one of the articles on the internet about this situation: 

Okay, I'm going to weigh in on this one.  I am a huge fan of Criminal Minds, and a huge fan of Tom Gibson – all the way back to when he played straight man to Jenna Elfman in Dharma & Greg. 

To me the entire situation is heartbreaking.  Criminal Minds was about to change in a big way already, from the absence of Shemar Moore.  Tom Gibson is a double blow that I will mourn next season.  But right is right and wrong is wrong.  Tom Gibson was wrong, and I think dismissal was justified for a second assault in a workplace.  Bullying is wrong.

I put myself exactly in the producer's (who Gibson kicked) place.  I am disabled.  I have some serious problems with my feet, ankles, knees, shoulders, and back.  If someone were to kick me it would probably drop me to the ground, and I wouldn't be able to stand back up on my own.  Now, I'm an opinionated woman, I tend to defend my point of view pretty vehemently.  I'm not rude or loud, but I don't back down unless someone proves me absolutely wrong.  So I'm working on a set and have written some lines or scenes that one of the actors doesn't like, and he comes to me with the script. I argue that for continuity, or balance of dialogue for all the cast members in the episode, I think the lines should stay, or whatever.  He disagrees, and the discussion gets a little heated.  This man gets pissed off when I don't back down and hauls off and kicks me in the shin.  Why should I have to put up with a threat like that?  I have to say, that as much as I love TG and CM, no one should have to feel threatened on their job, especially with physical violence.  The producers were right to dismiss TG. 

I have two friends who support TG in his plight to get a lawyer and appeal his dismissal.  I don't. 

Because, you see, I think that would be a blow to justice.  I can see this from the other point of view. Gibson is an actor and director which means he has some measure of authority on the CM set.  I don't care what the producer said, any physical assault is grounds for immediate dismissal.  Period.  I cannot think of any job site that is not bound by that rule.  You hit, you touch, you verbally abuse, you're gone. 

Fans of TG and CM, are saying, well, he apologized, he regrets it, and so on.  And I agree that all of that it to his credit.  He's showing remorse. 

On the other hand, he cannot retract what he did, and it's happened before.  This indicates a pattern of behavior which causes tension in the job place.  When will it happen again? 

Not only that, but he is a big star, well known, and though it's not a children's show, it sends out a message on a grand scale that bully behavior, when the money is big enough to pay for a team of lawyers, will go unpunished. 

That is a dangerous precedent to set.  I am relieved that the producers of Criminal Minds realize that and took the appropriate action, although I will miss Thomas Gibson's character deeply, and his sensitive portrayal.