2016 has been a grueling year. In addition to losing several cultural icons including Prince and David Bowie and enduring a U.S. election that saw a reality star squeak to victory with an electoral-not-popular majority, CBS viewers have been moved to rally around a movement they, too, feel passionate about: Fired actor Thomas Gibson's absence from Season 12 of Criminal Minds.

Gibson, who played Agent Aaron "Hotch" Hotchner on the long-running series, appeared in the September 28 season premiere, but Hotch made his exit in Season 12 Episode 2, titled "Sick Day." CBS and ABC Studios stood firm in their decision to ax Gibson following a verbal dispute with a writer-producer that turned physical, and Criminal Minds actor Shemar Moore (who himself departed the show in Season 11) suggested Gibson's firing was deserved in a now-deleted Facebook video. For fans of Gibson and his character, his appearance at the top of the season was mere salt in the wound, sparking some to tweet their dissent with the hash tag #NoHotchNoWatch.

And their protest endures, as the self-identified #GibsonStrong once again made their feelings heard this week. As The Wrap reported, the series saw a 17% drop in ratings last season, and viewership hasn't improved any with Moore and Gibson's departure – prompting unconfirmed speculation that CBS won't renew for a 13th season.

Another network drama, ABC's Castle, saw a protest from fans angry that lead actress Stana Katic and her costar Tamala Jones had been let go from the show; that show went to its grave with a cancellation shortly thereafter.

Check out a roundup from Criminal Minds fans who are #StillMissingHotch below.

 

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