Mandy Patinkin talks at length on why he regrets being part of Criminal Minds and why he left the show.
The way I work is I infuse my own reality underneath what I’m saying (…) I have to find my own story to live underneath it that absolutely matches and connects to what the words that the writer wrote that mirror it, that metaphor it, that work for me, that connect me to it. And in the case of CM, and these horrific misogynistic tales told over and over again and the torture of women and children, where I had to go mentally were beyond darkness. To be there 16 hours a day (…) 16 hours a day, 9 1/2 months a year was destroying my heart and soul. It was very, very destructive to me and made me very sad.
Whether you agree with his views on the show or not, what he said about how his work affected him is quite a legitimate reason for leaving his job. This is a guy who internalizes his roles pretty deeply. This is a guy who had a breakdown on the set of Chicago Hope because his character was having a mental breakdown. Maybe he shouldn’t have left so abruptly but there it is. Unprofessional? Probably. Scum of the earth? I hope we all have higher standards for that.
I think the important thing to take away from this is what he says at the end:
And I want to just add, most importantly, that’s how I feel. I have good friends on that show and I meet people all over the world who love that show. And I’m not here to tell them that they’re wrong for how they feel. It’s how I feel. It’s how it affects me. And it’s a private matter for me and everybody’s entitled to their own experience.