While I always and consistently disliked Skyler White I also had a profound respect for you for not making a spectacle out of yourself and not complaining about how many people dislike your character. I especially respected you for not repeating Vince Gilligan ludicrous and highly offensive allegations that Skyler is hated because of the misogyny.
Being disliked for the character you are playing is a professional hazard when you play what - as you yourself put it - a villain to the show's protagonist. Unfortunately, you wrote NY times article that is not only completely missing the point as to why people dislike your character but also you made some comments that are genuinely offensive to women who are actual victims of misogyny all around the World.
First of all, calling Skyler a strong woman is an insult to strong women everywhere. She is not a strong woman. Strong women are not hypocrites who condemn what their husbands are doing at one moment and use it to their advantage the next. Strong women don't punish their unborn, defenseless children for their own mistakes. Strong women don't emasculate their husbands from the very start. If Skyler packed the bags, took the kids and said Walt fuck you and your money and then left, I'd be the first one to cheer and root for her. But she didn't. She is weak. And if she wasn't supposed to be weak - the writers failed.
You wrote: As an actress, I realize 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?
And as a human being I reserve the right, Mrs. Gunn, to judge, condemn and hate a woman who is smoking during pregnancy, who eats unhealthy things solely on purpose to punish the child she has with a man she currently hates. An unborn, defenseless child. Her own flesh and blood. I reserve the right to judge a woman who cheats on her dying husband, who attempts to take his kids away from him but lacks the guts to carry the deal through and really separate herself and her kids from this man, in the process putting her family and her own son through hell.
The issue with your character is not that she "doesn't back down" - it's because her perpetual indecisiveness is creating problems for everyone around her. Skyler caused pain to her son, her lover, her family. Unlike another character on the show - Marie - Skyler doesn't show much support or warmth for anyone. It's something you should discuss with the writers, not blame the fans for how they respond to character that comparing to others, comes off as cold. The writers didn't give Skyler anything to balance out her difficult personality. Don't blame the fans for the writers' mistakes.
Also, Mrs. Gunn, currently Skyler is standing by Walt. She takes advantage of his fortune and she helps him launder the money. The problem here is not the fact she won't suffer silently. The problem here is that she is tragically inconsistent and in the process - comes off as extremely weak person.
Your comments where you say Skyler is Walt's equal and you comparing her character to Carmella Soprano - a legitimately strong, consistent female character - came off as your wishes. In reality I don't think anyone can view your character as Walt's equal, a man that is, thanks to the writing on the show, portrayed in much more sympathetic light. Is it right? No, but again - discuss it with your writers. As for Carmella - no offense to you, but neither Skyler nor your performance - as great as it is - deserve to be put in the same sentence as Edie Falco's legendary character.
Apparently you received death threats which is obviously hugely alarming. But you seem to put all the fans of the show who dislike your character into the bag of misogynists who want to kill you. That's very harmful and you are alienating fans of the show even further from your character. And welcome to the Internet. Things like that sadly happen.
But I finally realized 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.
The most disturbing part of it, though, is that this character is now made into some sort of a martyr by your fans. There are some great female characters out there that people love - but you and others seem to conveniently leave this fact out while defending Skyler. Skyler being made out to some sort of icon of people hating "strong female characters" is wrong and disgusting. There are actual women - not some made up TV series characters - who are the victims of actual misogyny. You and your fans throwing that term so lightly when it comes to a matter so insignificant as fans of TV show hating a character is very saddening.
It has nothing to do with the gender - if Skyler was Walt's gay partner, I assure you, I'd hate that person just the same because of the actions of that character. Using the word "misogyny" here is just saddening because real misogyny is going on out there and affects women who I'm sure are far, far stronger than your character.
I cannot help but feel that you feel a bit left out. Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul are universally adored. But look at them - just as the writers of the show made their characters more accessible, they are accessible too - chatting with fans on social media sites, acting like regular guys. I'm not saying you should do that, it's your choice, but when you play a difficult character and the first thing you do to reach out to people is complaining about the fans of the show, it seems to me it's a bad move to win their hearts.
Lastly, look at another character that people passionately hate - Cersei Lannister played by Lena Headey in Game of Thrones. I don't hear about people sending Lena Hadey death threats. I don't see people filling the boards with hate messages for her. When someone calls her a bitch Lena just smiles. She turns it into a humorous situation and people love her for it. By making situations like that into anecdote she tells during interviews, she takes the power away from those who call her a "bitch" and hate her.
If you make fun of this and trivialize it, it won't have power. By falsely adding misogynistic agenda to people simply not liking a TV character you are making things far too dark, you add power to them and you are only making things worse.
My advice to you Mrs. Gunn would be to take pride in your performance and you creating a character that people feel so passionately about. Truth is that Skyler has a lot of fans out there. And your performance made them love her. Focus on the good, not the bad and keep in mind it's just a TV show and if you think you are a victim of "misogyny", mam, you don't really know what misogyny is.
a female fan of the show.