Breaking Bad fans, let me ask you a question? Why did we hate Skyler White so much?
We did, right? Just type Skyler White into Google Images and check out all at the hate memes. So many hostel (and probably sexist) Skyler memes.
But why? Was the character written for us to hate, or did Skyler bother us because she “didn’t conform to a comfortable ideal of the archetypical female” and were we simply reinforcing the patriarch?
Wait, wait, wait! Please, don’t go anywhere yet. There actually might be something to this.
Actress Anna Gunn, who played the character we all despised, has always been open about her difficulties with the Breaking Bad fanbase. But as part of Entertainment Weekly’s recent reunion piece, Gunn elaborated on the tremendous amount of backlash she received for playing Skyler.
“It was very bizarre and confusing to us all,” Gunn told EW. “It was a combination of sexism, ideas about gender roles, and then honestly, it was the brilliance of the construct of the show. People did find a hero in Walt, but they wanted so much to connect with him so viscerally that to see the person who often was his antagonist — therefore the show’s antagonist in a way — they felt like she was in the way of him doing whatever he wanted to do, and that he should be allowed to do what he wanted to do.”
Gunn admitted that the backlash she received for playing Skyler was “very tough” on her. It wasn’t completely a negative experience, though. Gunn says she has fond memories of her time playing Skyler, calling it “transformative and incredible.”
But playing Skyler White has its drawbacks.
“It shook me. As an actor, my job is not to always play characters who make everybody happy. That’s not interesting. In fact, characters that are more difficult in a way are more interesting. But when you are on a show that has become that big and people are identifying you so much with somebody that they dislike, you can’t help but feel like you get folded into it.”
In other words, if we liked every character on a show, it would be a very boring show. Skyler was simply a mother trying to protect her family from a drug dealer. Yes, there were times when the character got a little…annoying and maybe the viewer would have rather her embrace Walter’s criminal empire. Oh, and she had an affair with Ted.
But come one, have you seen Ted?
Before we start denouncing Skyler and start creating more misogynist memes, it is important to remember Walter White wasn’t a great guy either. In fact, he became quite a despicable person. Walter poisoned a kid, allowed Jane to choke on her own vomit, and handed Jesse over to the Aryans to be tortured and murdered.
Sounds like Walter deserves the hate memes.