Criminal Minds Cast Shake-Up as Gupton Not Returning for Season 13!

Criminal Minds Cast Shake-Up as Gupton Not Returning for Season 13!


In a heartfelt facebook post, Damon writes about this disappointment, how he feels about his castmates, his hopes for the future, and what it means for him, both in moving forward and in standing still.

“I need to get this out because it’s going to become more public soon and I want to put it out there so I can continue the process of moving on.
On Thursday, I was informed that I was being released from my current job on Criminal Minds. It took us all by surprise, cast, production, etc. as production starts back up in about a month, and I was told I’d be back for the 13th season and planned my worklife and personal life accordingly. It was a business decision, nothing to do with my performance, etc. Business move.
I don’t think it’s ever easy to lose your job. Period. In the moment, there’s nothing truly consoling for me about “Something better is coming”. Oftentimes, that is true. But it negates the power, importance, uniqueness, specialness of the individual opportunity. I prefer to think and say “something DIFFERENT is coming.”
Before Criminal Minds, I had the good fortune to have been a series regular on four television shows. To folks outside the business, that means a main cast member, which is a huge thing to actors. It’s a different pay scale, resume builder, etc. None of these shows made it past a first season. They were all cancelled in fact. Most of them deserved to have longer lives, but it wasn’t in the cards. Some of you know the pain of losing jobs like this, most don’t, most want to, most won’t, I get that. It is all our personal experience.
Criminal Minds was supposed to be a safe space for awhile, if there is ever such a thing in this whirlwind business. I knew it wouldn’t last forever but it was “stability” for a moment in a well-oiled machine close to home, with lovely people and environment close to home. My life needed that right now, even if my deepest artistic soul and being needs more, because, certainly I have more to say, as many of us do. But learning and the consistency of “taking reps” at a job like this is really important, and often a luxury. It’s practice. Consistent practice. And I really did look forward to doing that with this particular team more than half a season. There’s so much to learn and grow in, and when you can do it around good people and energy , that’s the bee’s knees.
A lot of actors will never see a series regular job on a tv show, I get that, let alone five. I count my blessings, believe me, and it is important that this is known, but there is a special kind of pain and disappointment in losing opportunities like this. These jobs do NOT grow on trees. They are hard to get, and hard to survive. They have their own pressures and challenges. 22 episodes on a network tv show in today’s (or any days) market is a BIG thing. It a big job. A lottery of sorts.

And love was in the room. That always makes the blow harder.
And while not the hardest jobs on earth, or even most relevant to the worlds happenings at times, they are not easy. But they are special in our line of work as we build careers. Each one is lucrative in a different way, and that’s not just monetarily. The building of relationships, a work family, continuity…all important.
In today’s game, and maybe yesterday’s too, the “hit” is the thing. And the truth is I haven’t had that yet. I’ve longed for that. The HIT. Nothing has stuck. And the sticking is never guaranteed. So you just keep tracking your course, developing, and making your mark best you can. You can find examples all around…people who are fabulous actors who’ve never had a series regular that finally get one and the show is a colossal hit, to people who jump in one iconic hit for seven years, to seven years on another iconic hit, to people who have to do ten network shows before something sticks, to people who never land these types of roles roles, etc. Its a wild business. And a wild ride. And nothing is ever guaranteed. There are shockers and detours and potholes all the time.
And I consider myself very fortunate to have had the opportunities I’ve had, even when hungry for more. Believe me, this is not a “woe is me/feel bad for me” writing. I count my blessings. If you know me, then you know that. If you don’t know me well, then learn that about me.
The world is not ending, but a part of mine IS. And this is just me grieving. And that’s allowed and necessary. And, perhaps, it’s preempting the question that I will occasionally get asked…”how are you doing?”
This is a tough business at its many levels. And it takes its toll.
It’s all perspective.
All that glitters ain’t gold.
But treasures seen and unseen, abound.
A big thank you to the lovely folks at Criminal Minds. Cast. Crew. And I thank CBS for welcoming me to the family for a time. I will never forget the kindness of that crew, and the generosity, fun, and love that filled the walls of Quixote studios. And thank you to those of you who supported me on the show. Many of you don’t know what I went through behind the scenes being a “replacement” for a beloved character on a show that has a storied and deep history, and twitter can be a mean place, racially, otherwise. I learned a lot about people’s ignorance and cruelty.
So, as a courtesy, I ask for no more “keep your chin up’s” or “something better’s coming”, or “you always land on your feet” or “you’re better than that show anyway” (which I disagree with) or “you’re always working”, or “does this mean you’ll conduct more now”, or “things could be worse”,etc. I appreciate the sentiment, and I thank you, and at my core, I know it to be true. But oftentimes, for me, it actually neglects the pain of mourning the loss, even though well-intended. So thank you. Truly.
Like I said above…it’s not that something BETTER is coming, it’s that something DIFFERENT is.
One day and moment at a time.
In truth, you may or may not hear from me for awhile. I may have to step back, re-root. Connect anew. A way I never have before. I’ve already been farther away these days, that may deepen.
I certainly do know that when doors close, windows open. I’ve soared on the wings of that phrase for quite a time now.
Yes. Doors close and windows open, but sometimes….you just gotta get out of the house.
Build a NEW one.
And I have no idea where that will be next, and it may be where none of us expect.
There are deeper whispers.
And that is the truest, most revealing beauty of this whole thing.
I close with some amended words from one of my favorite moments in Shakespeare…Macbeth, Act 4, scene 3 when Macduff finds out his family has been killed and Malcolm is trying to comfort him. I always hear this when I suffer a loss of some kind.
Merciful heaven!
What, man! ne’er pull your hat upon your brows;
Give sorrow words: the grief that does not speak whispers the o’er-fraught heart and bids it break…
Be comforted:
Let’s make us medicines of our great revenge,
To cure this deadly grief…..
Dispute it like a man.
I shall do so;
But I must also feel it as a man.”

Thank you , Damon. We wish you all the best of everything, and we hope to see Stephen Walker consult with the BAU another time, you willing.

9 thoughts on “Criminal Minds Cast Shake-Up as Gupton Not Returning for Season 13!

  • June 12, 2017 at 1:12 am

    He will be missed and it sucks. You have good people on there. But it sucks when they either leave or they get fired. I almost stopped watching the show. If anymore of the cast leave like dr. Reed’s character or Penelope’s character leave I will quit watching the show

    • July 15, 2017 at 1:48 pm

      All of this sucks. Spencer needed Hotch when he was in trouble, but they fired Hotch who was with the show from the beginning. Then, letting Gupton go and bringing on someone else. Do these people know what they are doing? I have watched this show from the beginning. I am watching Season 12, and it is awful. Too many agents, unfamiliar faces. The only redeeming quality are that Reid, JJ, Garcia and Rossi are still there. As much as I love Adam Rodriguez…it all just seems stilted and awkward. These producers have ruined a great show by firing Gibson, letting a potentially awesome additon in Gupton go and trying to keep this broken family going. I continue to support Reid, JJ, Garcia, Rossi and also Luke because I loved him on CSI Miami, but you can’t fix what is broken. Hotch was the silent, solid glue that held the team together. He was truly missed in my opinion when Reid was arrested.

      • July 15, 2017 at 9:31 pm

        Yes, they know what they’re doing. I disagree the show is ruined. Nothing ever stays the same, so we either roll with it, or we move on. No, Hotch isn’t coming back, he was the leader but he wasn’t the whole show. I miss him too but I don’t miss TG.

        Regarding Damon, I do hope that if Stephen doesn’t die in the season premiere, that he can possibly be tapped to make an appearance now and then.

  • June 12, 2017 at 1:20 am

    What an emotional piece. He sounds heartbroken despite trying to cover it (my opinion). I am sad that he has been let go as I was just beginning to get used to his character and would have liked to have seen where they went with him..
    It is a tough world. As much as it pains me to say this as I really hate to see anyone lose their job, but I think if a character is to go from the show then his is the one as we are far less attached to Stephen than the others, and with all the upheaval recently, a lot of it not pleasant in the slightest, I feel that to lose another longstanding member of the cast/team, (hopefully AJ and Kirsten have solved their contract problems), would be the final straw. TBH I and a lot of people don’t want to have to go through the TG drama again. Like you say Tari, it would be nice to see him to consult with the BAU again, that is of course he makes it out of the crash Arggh!
    That said, I am sorry that anyone has to go and I wish Damon well in every project that will come his way. Being part of the Criminal Minds team is tough, especially for a newcomer. Good Luck to Damon!

  • June 12, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    twitter can be a mean place, racially, otherwise. I learned a lot about people’s ignorance and cruelty.

    This part of Gupton’s post saddens me the most. Come on, CM fandom, you’re better than this. It’s one thing for fans to have their preferences when it comes to certain team configurations, and I totally get missing characters/cast members that have left over the years, but some people in this fandom have been really nasty to the newcomers over the years and that crap really needs to stop already.

    Anywho, sad to hear this news, especially given the way he describes how he was let go. I enjoyed Gupton when he was on “Bates Motel” and that fondness carried over to his work on “Criminal Minds” :). I think he was settling in well and I would’ve liked to see how he would’ve continued to mesh with the team next season.

    I’m glad he has fond memories of working on the show, though, and I like his general positive outlook and attitude. Wishing him well with whatever he goes on to do next.

  • June 12, 2017 at 4:18 pm

    What a gracious and heartfelt social media post by Mr. Gupton. Though I was never certain of an additional profiler on CM, I never held any ill will towards the character. Perhaps his character could have acted as a consultant for the BAU, coming in during critical junctures during certain cases, and with Mr. Gupton as a special guest star. I’m sure the writers could have done something to make this character a notable part of the BAU if given a chance.

    Damon Gupton is a talented actor and I hope he finds a new acting job soon, one that serves his talents well and is a huge success. It seems like Mr. Gupton was very well-liked by the CM cast and crew, and proved himself to be a topnotch professional.

    Mr. Gupton’s post in wake of his firing from CM proves, no matter what we do in our professional lives, we often are victims of the slings and arrows that are beyond our control. And we are all human beings deserving of kindness, empathy and good common decency.

    Break a leg, Mr. Gupton. I wish you nothing but the best as you embark on the next journey of your career.

  • June 15, 2017 at 8:44 am

    Amanda, Angela, Jen, and Sheila – you’ve all expressed wonderful thoughts here, I hope Damon sees them and is encouraged by the support.

  • June 19, 2017 at 9:21 am

    Sad that he got hate from Twitter. I remember one instance when somebody asked Virgil why he had hired someone from “his kind”. I asked the person if it has referring to the “human” kind but they never answered. I think the NHNW folks have trascended the fandom and are now just haters. Every renewal and signing makes them go mad. I take every opportunity to remind them that CM is still CBS #2 rated drama, as it was with Hotch. You should make an article showing the season by ratings trend, just so we can stop hearing the “CM ratings are sliding without Hotch” nonsense.

  • June 20, 2017 at 1:56 pm

    Agreed, they’re just rabidly hostile about everything. Every bit of news about CM triggers them all foaming at the mouth, ad nauseam.

    I too was sorry to hear that Damon got twitter hate… all he did was show up and do his job, poor guy.


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