#ShemarMoore and Leaving #CriminalMinds: Ladies, Don’t Be Sad…Be Happy

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“Is this a straight, black man about to blog about Shemar Moore? He’s probably happy that he’s leaving Criminal Minds. Yep, he’s a hater!” If that’s what you’re expecting, you may be disappointed.

By now, just about every fan of Moore and CBS’s Criminal Minds is well-aware that last night was his final episode. If you’re like my wife and I and have the episodes DVRd to watch later, then like me, you probably found out this morning. It goes without saying that this was certainly a shock to many.

But first, allow me to take you back a little bit. My wife and I got married in July 1999. Needless to say, we eventually learned everything about each other. Back then, one of the first things I learned about her was that she was a fan of The Young and the Restless. Now I knew OF the show because my mother used to watch, but I never did myself before then. I think Victor and Nikki were on their third marriage or their eighteenth by then. I can’t remember.

Anyway, enter “Malcolm Winters,” who frankly needs no introduction. My wife made it quite clear how fond she was of him (like millions of other ladies). Now, back then, as a 20-year-old, of course I “hated” on him a little bit. Each time he came on, my wife would drool and gawk, I said my little stuff and took my jabs at him; you know. Of course I would later go into our bedroom and do push-ups. Tried for a thousand, ended up doing about fifteen. Nearing death each time, I’d jump up, look in the mirror, stick out my bird chest, 160-pound frame complete with twig-like arms and I’d say, “That’s right…he ain’t nothin’. I’m almost there.”

To the dismay of Y+R fans, it was announced that he’d be leaving the show. The ladies were sad for a second until they realized he’d soon be back on another CBS show titled, Criminal Minds. 

All was well in the world again.

Fast forward to last night. Up to that point, Moore was the only actor on the show to have appeared in every single episode over its 10+ seasons, much to the delight of millions of ladies, to include my lovely wife of nearly 17 years, whose chin I still have to wipe off whenever he’s on, but hey…it is what it is.

Now, only skimming through some stories, I’ve found that he said his reason for leaving is because he wants to grow. As an actor and as a man. He’s ready for some progression in his life.

I will be totally honest. Aside from almost tearing my chest muscles to hell back in the day, Moore has always had my respect. Not just because my wife likes him, but because of who he is as an actor and as a man. He’s obviously been an actor for a lot of years and his body of work is outstanding.

Ladies, that’s “body of work” meaning his acting. Not his “body of body.” Aw, hell…as soon as I said “body,” I lost most of you, didn’t I?

Anyway…he’s an outstanding actor and has done a great job over the years in perfecting his craft. Another reason he has my respect is because I’m an aspiring screenwriter. As I am too, looking to greatly improve my craft, I’ve learned over the past few years that I need to study and pay close attention to others in my craft or in similar arts, which in this case, would be actors. Since what I’m writing today may reach their hands sometime in the near future, I need to be certain I’m showing them well-deserved respect, from one “artist” to another, if that makes any sense.

Now, I began this blog post the way I did because I can imagine that IS what’s going through the minds of quite a few of you out there. A straight black man talking about Shemar Moore. Definitely a hater, right? But you know…that’s sad that that is the mindset. Not because it isn’t true, but the depressing fact is that in many cases…it is. Not to get preachy about race, but we as blacks tear each other down so much and it’s sickening to me. So the natural response or thought process here would be that I, as another black man, would certainly be “hating” on him. He’s very attractive and he has the attention of a ton of women. Surely plenty to “hate” on, right?

First off, I don’t hold a candle to Shemar Moore as far as looks go. Let’s just get that epic revelation out of the way. I’m not even trying to compare myself to him as far as looks and attention from women are concerned. He has me beat about a thousand times over.

Okay, fine…a few thousand. Several thousand. Several hundred thousand. A couple million. Am I getting warmer, ladies?

It was even suggested by some that I don’t follow Moore on Twitter or send any positive tweets to him because he may think I’m gay and not respond. What?! So it’s like that now, too? I can’t give the brother some props without being “warned” that he might think I’m gay? And yes…people have responded to some of my tweets to him to say that very thing.

I don’t blame anyone for being sad about Moore’s departure. When I saw the news myself, I was like, “What?!” No warning or anything. It apparently just happened. He seemed like that character who would be there until the end. As great of a show as Criminal Minds is, it wouldn’t be surprising that many of us don’t feel there is an end in sight. But news like his departure from the show tells us something we already know…

…that all good things must come to an end.

Now, as actors, this is their jobs. One thing we as fans don’t realize (and in some cases, don’t respect) is the tremendous amount of work they put into getting these shows together for us. As fans and viewers, the commitment we put into the show is the one hour we sit down and watch each week. That’s it. However, for a single episode, there’s no telling how long it takes before they have one ready for us. And they do this more than twenty times over the course of 9-10 months, I believe. I can imagine that will take a toll on even the best of professional actors. It’s no wonder some leave shows after several years in what feels to us like an “abrupt” manner. All we know is that we won’t see them for that hour anymore. But for them, it’s much more than that.

Then again, I read that Moore considered leaving following the expiration of his contract last season, but he chose not to at that time. So this tells me that he had probably been mulling over this for even longer.

Again, I don’t blame anyone for being sad that Moore has left Criminal Minds. But ladies…let’s be happy for him. One of his statements is as follows:

“I love what I do for a living, I love it from ‘action’ to ‘cut’, but I also want to walk my dogs, travel, get married, have kids. I want balance, and it’s hard to do with the schedule that we have. I didn’t direct, I didn’t write, but I grew, and I’m leaving because I want to continue to grow as an actor. I’m leaving to see what else I’m capable of.”

Moore also said that he’s choosing to leave on his own terms. Damn right.

Way too often, we are “forced” to end something for whatever reason, but anyone will tell you that the worst feeling is when you feel you aren’t in control of it. In this case, he is. He definitely gets my respect for that also. Not only that, but how many times have we heard Shemar Moore’s name in the news for acting a fool in some way? I know I haven’t.

Many people out there only see an actor’s money and fame. They think of very little else. But there is so much more to them than just that. Moore definitely isn’t the only professional actor to have felt this way, but this is a good reminder that many do.

Also, many women out there are saying, “Now that he’s gone, I won’t watch anymore.” Why? Why are you going to stop watching a show, a show that I assume is very near and dear to Moore’s heart, all because he’s not there anymore? You can’t sit here and pretend to be such huge fans of the show, but now that he’s gone, you quit watching. He was one actor on the show. He didn’t leave on bad terms. He’s not being kicked off the show. Rather than trying to send some “message” to declare your love for Shemar Moore, continue to respect him by not only continuing to watch the show, but also in respecting his decision that again, was made on HIS terms. Being angry and bitter won’t change anything. If you quit watching, then you really weren’t a fan of the show Criminal Minds. You were a fan of Shemar himself, which is fine, but don’t pretend you care about the show if him leaving will cause you to leave also.

Again, for us, it’s about sitting down and watching a show for an hour for several weeks out of the year. For them, it’s about working on their craft and creating a lifelong legacy and precious memories for their fans. A legacy in which they want to continue to improve on and being the best person they can be in every way, shape and form.

I obviously don’t know Shemar Moore personally, nor have I ever met him, but one thing I feel it’s safe to assume is that he has a tremendous amount of respect and appreciation for his fans. I don’t believe he’s leaving because he’s “done” or even “tired.” He’s leaving to continue to work on himself to be the best, so that the next time we see him, we can see his best.

I can’t think of a single reason to “hate” on any of that.

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