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Damon Gupton departs 'Criminal Minds' -- "I just lost my job"

UPI News Service, 06/12/2017 

Damon Gupton is departing "Criminal Minds" after a short-lived stint with the CBS series.

The 44-year-old actor confirmed his exit in a tweet Saturday after one season as Special Agent Stephen Walker.

"@1Tyvis wanted to let you know I appreciate this as I just lost my job," he wrote in response to a motivational post from NFL player Tyvis Powell, who was cut from the Cleveland Browns last week.

Gupton was brought on for Season 12 in the wake of Thomas Gibson's dismissal from Criminal Minds.

Gibson was fired from the show in August after 12 seasons as Aaron Hotchner following an altercation with a writer.

Entertainment Weekly linked Gupton's departure to Kirsten Vangsness and A.J. Cook's quest for a pay raise.

The actresses, who portray Penelope Garcia and J.J. Jareau, are reportedly seeking pay equity with Joe Mantegna and Matthew Gray Gubler.

Executive producer Erica Messer told TV Guide in January that CBS had pushed for Gupton's casting after Gibson's exit.

The actor is also known for playing Dr. Gregg Edwards on "Bates Motel" and Leonard Letts on "Goliath."

"Criminal Minds" will return for a 13th season in the fall.

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