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Shemar Moore Exits 'Criminal Minds' After 11 Seasons

Fans of "Criminal Minds" found out after the episode "A Beautiful Disaster" on Wednesday that SSA Derek Morgan, played by Shemar Moore, is retiring.

After 11 seasons on the show, Moore has decided to move on from the BAU. His character, who survived a harrowing kidnapping, is departing to focus on his family.

“To my homies, to my fans, to my baby girls: Cry if you have to, scream and yell if you have to, smile, smile, laugh, celebrate,” Moore says in the video. “This is not goodbye; this is goodbye to this part of a dream, this chapter. I’m not going anywhere. You guys haven’t gone anywhere. Without you, my dream is not possible. I can dream all day everyday, but I can’ t make it work unless you support me, unless you root for me, unless you watch me and you believe in me. … With whatever success I may have, it means nothing unless I inspire others. So whoever you are, I’m just like you,” Moore said.

"Criminal Minds" showrunner Erica Messer addressed the departure with a touching message to the fans:

"All of us at Criminal Minds are sad to say “see you later” to Agent Derek Morgan. Even sadder that our friend Shemar Moore isn’t on set anymore. It was definitely a surprise that he wanted “To leap,” as Shemar said, “to try new things.” For those reasons, we have nothing but love and respect for him and his choice. But it doesn’t mean we can’t also be really, really sad."

Messer continued, "It was important that we honor a character who has grown with us for over a decade, which is why we wrote the 3-episode arc for Morgan. Those final episodes were directed by fellow actors with the last one co-written by his “baby girl,” Kirsten Vangsness. Thomas Gibson got things started with an amazing journey in “Derek,” followed by our milestone 250th episode directed by Joe Mantegna. Matthew Gray Gubler helmed “A Beautiful Disaster,” helping Shemar and Morgan walk out with a proud, determined stride. One that we’ve been honored to have on our team for eleven years."

Moore’s "Criminal Minds" costars Joe Mantegna, Thomas Gibson, A. J. Cook, Matthew Gray Gubler, and Kirsten Vangsness said goodbye in this emotional video:

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