After the atrocious fifth season finale of Criminal Minds, I all but washed my hands of the hit CBS series. Of course, after settling down some, I reminded myself that one bad episode doesn’t mean the end (although, it could be a sign of it).
Either way, when you’re at Comic-Con and are offered the opportunity to talk to Criminal Minds fan-favorite Kirsten Vangsness (who plays technophile Penelope Garcia) you don’t pass it up – for anything.
While Vangsness wasn’t revealing much in terms of spoilers about the upcoming season 6, she did talk about her new gig playing her same character on the Criminal Minds spin-off (watch the complete video of the interview for that info). On top of that, Vangsness discussed in-length about the recent firing of co-star A.J. Cook (Jennifer ‘JJ’ Jareau) and how it has affected her and her co-stars.
In the interview, Vangsess describes the firing of Cook as something that “crushed” the entire Criminal Minds family and while it’s the studio who has the right to make that decision, she disagrees with them and now feels like she’s “living in someone’s rental and they get to decide who stays and who goes – and it BLOWS!”
It’s easy to say that Vangsess was one of the more memorable interviews during Comic-Con. Not only because she’s such a strong, outspoken women, but also because she’s so much like her character from the show (in style and personality – she knows very little about technology) that I could be listen to her for hours and be completely captivated.
You can read Vangsess thoughts about the firing of A.J. Cook below:
She’s shooting two episodes, I believe and you know, it sucks when they fire your friends. I don’t know who made that decision, but I know that us as a family – the family that Ed Bernero made of us – are crushed and it’s awful.
It certainly didn’t feel good and certainly doesn’t make you feel like, “Oh, everybody’s ok!” It makes you very aware that it’s a job and if they need you, they keep you, and if they don’t, they fire you.
Not that she’s not necessary! But, someone made a decision that she was not necessary and that’s a bad decision – in my opinion. My job, I did not choose to be “whoever makes these decisions” and that’s their choice. It’s like you’re living in someone’s rental and they get to decide who stays and who goes – and it BLOWS!
On what they did to try and save Cook’s job:
What we did was the fans set up a petition and I had Jane Lynch sign that petition, I had Jane Atkinson – Helen Mirren called me and signed that petition. I was calling people up and telling them that “this is happening” and that’s all you can really do. The fans are really the most powerful thing we have and we had 60,000 people sign that petition and it didn’t do anything.
And, at that point, you’ve got to be like, “I can’t…” Cause me, little ‘ole me – they don’t give a sh-t.
At the end of the day, I couldn’t… To keep your mouth shut about something like that. If someone makes a decision, they make a decision, but to me, it was like, “Can you see how many people disagree with you?” Make that decision, but just know that I disagree with you.
You’re allowed to because you’re in charge and you’re the one that holds the [money]. Whatever. They can make those decisions.
All in all, I think she makes it pretty clear where she stands on the whole A.J. Cook firing debacle. And, to her credit, she’s right. A.J. Cook was an integral member of the Criminal Minds cast and joy to watch on the screen each week.
While there’s nothing that can be done now, it’s still appropriate to let the powers that be know that, as fans of the series, we’re not happy with their decision (you can sign the petition here). When will the studios learn that if it’s not broke, don’t fix it – even if you do think that you know what’s right.
If you’d like to see everything that Kirsten Vangsness said, check out the complete video of the interview below:
Don’t miss the season 6 premiere of Criminal Minds (and A.J. Cooks final episodes), September 22 @9pm on CBS.