If you hate Skyler White you’re a misogynist pig? That’s what Jezeble.com thinks. A ‘I Hate Skyler White’ Facebook page was created for some fans to vent their frustrations about the character. The actress who plays Skyler White, Anna Gunn, wrote an Op-Ed about the intense fan reaction even saying some went as far as to threaten her personally–now that is some crazy stuff no arguing that. But to suggest every fan that didn’t like Skyler White, as Jezebel did, was a women-hater is a stretch. It’s more like the bad fan who doesn’t understand good story writing. If Skyler was fully complicit in her husbands activity it would have made for a very hollow story, basically she would have been Hank’s wife Marie. Breaking Bad revolves around Walter White, the story was good because he was getting intense pressure from all parts of his life.
Why the intense reaction to Skyler White? Fans rooted for Walter White because he was relatable on some level. Can’t everyone understand what it’s like being screwed over by your business partners, being stuck in a thankless job and losing your life savings over a healthcare issue. Walter White was us. So what! He cooked a little Meth–someone was gonna do it. So what! He killed some people–they were bad for the most part. We minimized Walter’s flaws because we could relate to him. We wanted Walter White to win. He was steadfastly loyal to his friends, faithful to his wife and provided for his family-not a bad guy. So we hoped his wife would see Walter as we did but she didn’t, it was only in the end, out of necessity, she started to get on board with her husband. It’s a bit overzealous to suggest, as Jezebel did, that Skyler ‘surrendered’ to her husband. She ‘surrendered’ to her husband because she was complicit in the crime and wanted to get away with it, not because somehow he dominated her into compliance.
Jezebel goes on to say other strong female leads like Carmella Soprano and Betty Draper were also demonized by male fans. I watched both the Soprano’s and Mad Man and was unaware of any animosity towards either women, but there probably was. The world is full of douch-bags. There will always be a racist comment, a homophobic comment, an anti-jewish comment and so on till the end of time. There are 7 billion people in the World, a percentage of them, hopefully small, are un-evolved. So you will always find comments out there to support a far fetched hypothesis like: everyone that didn’t like Skyler White is a misogynist pigs–but it’s more complex than that.