You may remember a post I wrote a few months back discussing the inexplicable level of hatred spewed at "Mad Men" character Betty Draper Francis, specifically from female critics. The often vile comments don't just stop with Betty; the relentless bemoaning has spread across the board with the many complex female characters that we should feel honored to have graced our TV screens lately, including Skyler White from "Breaking Bad."
All I hear online is how "annoying" these characters are, or why they are "always in the way" or "not supporting" the efforts of their men (who, just in case you don't watch, run the gamut of philanderers/identity thieves to methamphetamine moguls/murderers). But yet the women remain the bane of viewers' existence, not their crazy (ex)husbands.
Yesterday, actress Anna Gunn (Skyler White) wrote an amazing column for the New York Times in response to the "venom" her character has received from viewers and what it may say about how we place female characters in general.
But I digress. Gunn goes on:
She also reveals that some of these hateful comments too often move beyond the fictional character to the actress herself, who writes that someone posted that they wanted to kill her because of Skyler. Seriously? It's a TV show, people. Calm down, crazies.
Despite all the negative hoopla enrcircling her character (and unfortunately herself as an actress), Gunn respectfully took the high road and concludes the piece with a reflection of the way we perceive ourselves and female characters as a whole:
I can’t say that I have enjoyed being the center of the storm of Skyler hate. But in the end, I’m glad that this discussion has happened, that it has taken place in public and that it has illuminated some of the dark and murky corners that we often ignore or pretend aren’t still there in our everyday lives.
If it had been me, I would have probably thrown in a few four-letter words. So bravo to this remarkable actress who took a stand and called out the haters.