There’s been a backlash against Skyler, something she has in common with women characters on a variety of big dramas about men who tend behave much worse than they do. Do you have a sense of why this happens? Does it faze you at all?
Some of it is still the double standard in our society – that it’s more acceptable for a man to be this antihero badass doing all these things that break the law or are really awful. People watching want to be Walt, or they identify with him. He doesn’t have to answer to anybody. He does what he wants. There’s a fantasy element to that, I think. I also think that in some ways, there’s kind of a sexism to it, honestly. Sometimes … [pauses] I’ve been told particularly, how do you say … non-flattering or just really vicious – you could use the word vitriolic – angry stuff about Skyler, or about other female characters on other shows. The hatred and the vitriol and the venom and the nastiness and the attacks are so personal sometimes that it feels like, “Oh gosh, OK, I get that you don’t like Skyler, you like Walt, you’re on his side, but it just feels different.” I don’t feel like that stuff would be written about a male character.
Honestly, Skyler is sometimes the biggest impediment to Walt doing whatever he wants. For the people who love Heisenberg, who love the badass Walt, when Skyler says, “No, you shouldn’t do that,” they’re like, “What is her deal!? What’s wrong with her?” [Laughs] I can understand that. I can. But having looked at articles that cite other female characters being attacked like this, I find it disturbing just in terms of a cultural phenomenon. I’m not saying everyone who’s into the show and has an opinion is like that, but I feel there’s an element of that in there, and it’s an interesting gender issue. I’m glad that people are talking about it.
—Anna Gunn (who plays Skyler White on Breaking Bad) on the intense hatred for her character and the gender dynamics/double standard at play (via Rolling Stone)