Breaking Bad actress Anna Gunn has confronted Skyler White haters in an op-ed letter for The New York Times.
Titled ‘I Have A Character Problem’, the letter addresses the vitriol Gunn has received after portraying the character on the hit show. She writes that the hate is like a “Rorschach test” for people’s views on gender.
Gunn writes that she knew her character would be unpopular when she agreed to take on the role, as Skyler White is the antagonist to Walter White’s protagonist, but admitted she was “unprepared for the vitriolic response she inspired”.
She wrote: “Thousands of people have ‘liked’ the Facebook page ‘I Hate Skyler White’. Tens of thousands have ‘liked’ a similar Facebook page with a name that cannot be printed. A typical online post complained that Skyler was a ‘shrieking, hypocritical harpy’ and didn’t ‘deserve the great life she has’. ‘I have never hated a TV-show character as much as I hate her,’ one poster wrote. The consensus among the haters was clear: Skyler was a ball-and-chain, a drag, a shrew, an ‘annoying bitch wife’.”
Referencing other lead female roles in successful TV dramas, such as Carmela Soprano in The Sopranos, Gunn suggested the hate directed towards her may be down to individuals’ own perception of “woman and wives”.
She added: “Because Skyler didn’t conform to a comfortable ideal of the archetypical female, she had become a kind of Rorschach test for society, a measure of our attitudes toward gender.”
Breaking Bad returned to record ratings in the US on August 11 and the hit drugs drama now has just six episodes to go until it reaches its conclusion. UK viewers are able to watch on Netflix, where each episode is being made available immediately after it finishes in the US.
The very last episode is scheduled to air on September 27 and Bryan Cranston’s co-star Aaron Paul has promised “a violent sprint to the finish”.