Fans Fight for Criminal Minds Actresses Unfairly Axed/down-sized by CBS

19 Jun

DATELINE: June 18, 2010

CATEGORY: Entertainment/TV Shows


Okay – reality check.  This is 2010 – right? Women are supposed to have gained ground in the arena of equal opportunity and fair employment practices.

Of course those of us who are women know that this isn’t really the case – at least not entirely.  Yeah, we’ve come a “long way Baby” as the cigarette commercial used to tell us.  But there are still issues of unequal pay and prejudice in hiring practices, etc.

Then, there’s….Television! The Entertainment Industry where bulemic teenagers are Queens, and anyone over 25 is “on the other side of sexy”  – particularly if you’re a woman.

In TV-Land all the rights acquired through amendments and legislation in the past 30 years seem to be oddly “irrelevent” when applied to the hiring/firing practices of studios and networks.

Case in point: CBS announced a few days ago that they were not renewing the option on A.J. Cook’s contract as a series regular in its popular “pricedural drama” Criminal Minds. First they cited financial reasons, then they claimed it was creative reasons, then they dropped the other bomb that they would be introducing a new female character to “take the place” of A.J. Cook’s character, Jennifer Jereau.

Hold it. We’re talking about a talented rock-solid part of a hit series whose Supervisory Special Agent character is an intricate part of the fictional Behavioral Analysis Unit operating out of the FBI HQ in Quantico, VA  (based on the real deal).  A.J. Cook has been with the cast for all six years.  She is NOT window dressing.

Then there’s her co-star Paget Brewster, who portrays Emily Prentice, a Supervisory Special Agent and Profiler.  Here’s another extremely talented woman. Together they are the Cagney and Lacey of the 21st century – not so much in personality types but with respect to their gutsy, tough cop, nurturing mother aspects that have revealed the diversity of these women as actresses.  Paget Brewster is still in negotiation for her contract and the word went out that she will be in fewer episodes, leaving only “Penelope Garcia” brought to life by Kirsten Vangsness, an equally capable actress, who is the technical analyist and computer wiz recruited after hacking deep into top level FBI systems.

Here’s the rub – we have two women who have performed capably with praises from their co-workers and producers, etc., with a vast and loyal fan base (so we have public approval) – who just get the shaft.  Anywhere else in the country –  if that happened to your sister or mother or daughter or friend or co-worker the first course of action would be to launch a discrimination fight through the court system.

But this is the Entertainment Industry, which is apparently above United States laws pertaining to unfair hiring and labor practices, or blatant sexual discrimination.

THE GOOD NEWS IS…fans of the show have gone ballistic launching Twitter campaigns (which have included participation by the actresses as well as their co-stars in keeping fans updated) email and Tweets to program sponsors, snail mail, faxes to CBS Execs, a flurry of blogs, and more.

An online petition has already amassed over 31,550+  signatures* demanding to
“Keep A.J. Cook and Paget Brewster on Criminal Minds.”


I will be publishing more links for addresses and phone numbers to call.

In the meantime, ring up CBS President of  Entertainment Nina Tassler. Her direct phone is: 818-655-1400

If you call after hours you will get her voice mail. If you call and get her assistant Lori, she will ask if you want to be directed to voicemail.WARNING! – it’s a general mailbox. Politely inform Lori that you wish to leave a message in Nina’s box – not with another department.

Also fax to Nina at 818-655-1403.

Let’s stay civil and express ourselves without getting ugly – I hear that she really does review public feedback.

If you have a Twitter account: Please, RT! Twitter accounts for companies that advertise on Criminal Minds.

Here’s suggested language:

Cutting the females has insured that loyal fans will boycott sponsors of CM for supporting sexist practices. There is already a petition and a twitter campaign to tweet sponsor: “You advertise on a sexist network. Make CBS keep strong female leads on Criminal Minds, or we will boycott. #savetheCMLadies”

Please include #savetheCMLadies in your tweets and RTsit will help focus searches.

More to come…


*UPDATES as of 7-7-2010:

the petition has grown to almost 47,000 signatures!

A.J. Cook has been extremely Gracious and shown a lot of CLASS  in handling this shaft.  Paget has also stayed very professional and Tweeted concerns for continued fan support of the rest of the cast, her friends. On Twitter A.J. is looking forward to new projects and will keep us informed. Both women have expressed appreciation for the fan support. Paget acknowledged the petition helping her to negotiate new contract. I hope we really did make a difference there!

Follow the CM Women on Twitter @ajcookofficial @pagetpaget @vangsness

as well as @criminalminds @SaveTheCMLadies

See more in comments below  🙂

©2010 Deborah Adler. All rights reserved.

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8 Responses to “Fans Fight for Criminal Minds Actresses Unfairly Axed/down-sized by CBS”

  1. Toni June 20, 2010 at 6:00 pm #

    Time to hit CBS where it hurts —send these blog links and petition links to their advertisers. Women are the major decision makers when it comes to buying. Intelligence and beauty is what women identify with –not a pair of implants running across a lawn to catch a criminal. WTF Nina — who do you think should emulate the American woman?
    Boycott the advertisers as it will het CBS where it hurts! When advertisers bought into this show –they bought the team and now CBS pulls a bait and switch. Next thing you know they will pull Kathryn Willows off of CSI Thurs and replace her with a 22 year old—Yeah that makes sense.

    • Deb July 8, 2010 at 4:50 pm #

      I’m encouraging fans to gear up for a “second wave” of response that will hit once the new season begins. That’s when a lot of fans who still don’t know about A.J. being fired and Paget being cut back will want to have THEIR say about this SEXIST B.S.!

      Also call the Producers at Mark Gordon Company. All the articles say “Producer” decided to shake things up – to “refresh” the show. They dealt a death-blow and they need to hear it from the people who will or will NOT watch this fall. I don’t want to hurt the remaining ensemble cast because they are great folks and deserve better than what CBS has dealt to all of them, really.

      Mark Gordon Company
      12200 W Olympic Blvd. Ste. 250
      Los Angeles, CA 90064
      United States

      (310) 943-6401

      Where we can really let CBS feel it is with the “Spin-off.” I wasn’t really keen on that to begin with and now, as far as I’m concerned, it’s a DEAD DEAL. No remorse there. Hope they get the message.

      • Robert January 8, 2011 at 4:15 pm #

        Do youknow addresses for advertisers on criminal minds? We can write them and indicate we are going to boycott them also. Thanks.

      • Deb January 8, 2011 at 11:09 pm #

        Am searching for the Twitter accounts for the CBS Advertisers. A server was down – so have to go back a bit later. The Petition is still up. I’ve also seen speculation that AJ Cook might return for an episode later in the season. Right now it looks like they’re planning to kill of Prentiss (or send her into witness protection??) with the storyline developing of an ominous Eauropean from her past in Interpol Agency. It just sucks all the way around. She and AJ got the shaft. I’ll see what I can do to find those advertisers.

  2. Deb July 8, 2010 at 5:14 pm #

    To date there are 44,690 signatures on the Petition To “Keep AJ Cook & Paget Brewster on Criminal Minds!.” Still gathering names and comments!

    Couldn’t even begin to count the blogs and websites that have gone up since the word first got out.
    And if you really want to get an earfull, go to the Criminal Minds Fansite Wiki Discussion Forum at

    and got to “What do you think of the casting changes for season 6?” (You’ll need a WetPaint account to get in).

    Now there’s a lot of PO’d fans! Maybe CBS Execs will tune in there???

  3. GuadalupeKK July 26, 2010 at 11:39 am #

    I love the way you write! 😀

    Burn Notice 4th Season


  1. Diy Funny Life - July 12, 2010

    […] Fans Fight for Criminal Minds Actresses Unfairly Axed/down-sized … […]

  2. 2010 in review « Deb Adler's Weblog - January 2, 2011

    […] The busiest day of the year was September 30th with 28 views. The most popular post that day was Fans Fight for Criminal Minds Actresses Unfairly Axed/down-sized by CBS. […]

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