On Saturday, Anna Gunn wrote about the internet hatred for Skyler White, the character she plays on Breaking Bad.
But I was unprepared for the vitriolic response she inspired. 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 here. When people started telling me about the “hate boards” for Skyler on the Web site for AMC, the network that broadcasts the show, I knew it was probably best not to look, but I wanted to understand what was happening.
A typical online post complained that Skyler was a “shrieking, hypocritical harpy” and didn’t “deserve the great life she has.”
I think it has to come down to misogyny, pure and simple. Some men on the internet think it's okay to treat women as less than human, especially when they don't have to sign their names to what they're writing. And so all those confused feelings about right and wrong that Breaking Bad summons in its viewers find an outlet in Skyler White, who they believe it's "okay" to hate. Which is, of course, bullshit. I'm glad Gunn spoke out about it, and I hope to live to see a time when the actions of villainous women on TV can be discussed on the internet without dragging degrading, sexist hate speech into the conversation.