How is it that I figured out that Mark Hamill wasn’t Luke Skywalker as a little boy, yet what I’m guessing are full-grown adults are still struggling with the “actor does not equal character” lesson is beyond me. Apparently actress Anna Gunn is catching a lot of heat from deranged “Breaking Bad” fans who hate her character Skyler White. It’s not as simple as all that, though. Apparently some people just really, really hate what Gunn describes as “strong, nonsubmissive, ill-treated women” I wasn’t aware of this hatred for the character until I did a simple Google Image Search for “Skyler White” and had trouble finding one that didn’t have “cunt” or “bitch” written on it.
But Gunn admits being shocked by the degree of some fans’ hatred, expressed on the show’s message boards, as well as personal websites and popular Facebook pages devoted to taking down Skyler. The contempt for the fictional character even spilled over into personal attacks on the actress herself. “Could somebody tell me where I can find Anna Gunn so I can kill her?” one post asked.
Gunn writes that she became concerned about what this surge of emotion says about viewers’ perceptions of women and wives. “My character, to judge from the popularity of Web sites and Facebook pages devoted to hating her, has become a flash point for many people’s feelings about strong, nonsubmissive, ill-treated women,” she writes, and notes that a similar contempt had been directed toward Mad Men’s Betty Draper and The Sopranos‘ Carmela Sporano.