If you watch AMC’s hit series “Breaking Bad” you probably aren’t a huge fan of Walter White’s wife Skyler (Anna Gunn).
Since season one, fans have seen her as a nagging, pestering, cheating wife who gets in the way of Walt trying to run a successful meth business.
In a New York Times op-ed, Gunn explains how it’s normal for the viewer to empathise with and root for Walt since he’s the show’s protagonist. Since her reactions go against Walt, she’s easily seen as a foe even though she’s acing in a rational manner.
Here’s part of her response to the message board haters:
“As an actress, I realise that viewers are entitled to have whatever feelings they want about the characters they watch. But as a human being, I’m concerned that so many people react to Skyler with such venom. Could it be that they can’t stand a woman who won’t suffer silently or “stand by her man”? That they despise her because she won’t back down or give up? Or because she is, in fact, Walter’s equal?”
In the end, Gunn decided it comes down to gender.
“But I finally realised that most people’s hatred of Skyler had little to do with me and a lot to do with their own perception of women and wives. 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.”
Read Gunn’s complete op-ed on The New York Times.
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