Anna Gunn has responded to the criticism that has been levelled towards her Breaking Bad character, Skyler White.
Skyler is the wife to the show’s leading protagonist, Walter White, but she has been roundly chastised by ardent fans of Breaking Bad despite the popularity of the AMC drama.
Gunn decided to write an op-ed letter for The New York Times which addressed these concerns, which she entitled, “I Have A Character Problem.”
In the piece, Gunn wrote that the hate that has been directed towards her character is like a “Rorschach test” viewer’s opinions on gender.
Gunn also wrote that she was “unprepared for the vitriolic response she inspired” even though she knew that her character was going to unpopular when she decided to take on the role, mainly because she is the antagonist to White’s protagonist.
However, she is concerned that viewers are now attacking her rather than Skyler. “At some point on the message boards, the character of Skyler seemed to drop out of the conversation, and people transferred their negative feelings directly to me,” wrote the actress.
She then wrote, “The already harsh online comments became outright personal attacks. One such post read: ‘Could somebody tell me where I can find Anna Gunn so I can kill her?’ Besides being frightened (and taking steps to ensure my safety), I was also astonished: How had disliking a character spiraled into homicidal rage at the actress playing her?”
Gunn continued, “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.”
She then noted, “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 b**** wife’.”