Why did Skyler White become one of the most-hated characters on Breaking Bad? Reasons explored

Why Skyler White became one of the most-hated character on Breaking Bad? Reasons explored (Image via AMC)
Why did Skyler White become one of the most-hated characters on Breaking Bad? Reasons explored (Image via AMC)

One of the most intriguing character-fan relationships to come out of cable television in the past few decades is that of Breaking Bad’s Skyler White, the wife of protagonist Walter White. While early seasons make her somewhat difficult to like due to her affair with Ted Beneke, she eventually comes around and begins supporting Walter’s illicit dealings.

In fact, this transition of her character throughout the early stages of Breaking Bad makes for one of the most engaging of its kind in this early section of the show. While there are sinister undertones given that Skyler is essentially being allured by the money Walt is making for their family, it’s nevertheless an enthralling shift in characterization.

However, despite how engaging her development was over these early seasons, many Breaking Bad fans were very vocal about their hatred for her. Yet despite how widespread this hatred was, many of the series’ diehard fans were extremely confused on exactly why some of their peers hated Skyler as a character so vehemently.

Disclaimer: The article reflects the writer's opinion.

Breaking Bad fans’ hatred for Skyler White still a confusing topic for many today

Skyler’s evolution as a character

As mentioned above, Breaking Bad starts out Skyler White as a somewhat detestable character thanks to her affair with Ted Beneke and her overall attitude towards her husband. Fans also claim Skyler constantly put her husband down, with a popular example being when Walt arrived late to his own birthday party in the pilot and she berated him for it.

This, along with other examples from earlier in the series, provided the foundational basis of the argument for fans who dislike Skyler as a character. She was likewise presented as an unsupportive wife, placing her in an adversarial role before the show’s real conflicts had begun. This was only exacerbated when she first learnt of her husband’s true dealings.

When fans proved they’d always hate Skyler

When Walt revealed his activities to Skyler, Breaking Bad fans saw the helplessness she felt in being unable to protect her family as another attempt to drag Walt down and stop him from thriving. Likewise, she tried to distance herself from Walt emotionally, further leaning into her affair with Ted Beneke as part of this strategy.

However, when Skyler finally accepted what Walt was up to and gave into helping him, she was ruthlessly called a hypocrite by those fans who claimed to hate her. This served as a microcosm of the larger issue, which was that Walt’s popularity with fans made it so a percentage of the fan base would always see Skyler as an anchor weighing their antihero down.

Why was Skyler hated by fans? Explained

This serves as the culmination of the answer as to why Skyler was so hated by a section of fans of the show. In the beginning, she served as a typical housewife who, in truth, was no harsher to her husband than one could expect in an average relationship. While the affair is one aspect of her initial characterization that can be held against her, the show also makes it clear that her and Walt’s relationship troubles pushed her to this point.

Fans initially criticized her for not being supportive enough of Walt, both as a husband and as a drug kingpin. However, when she joined in Walt’s endeavors and began helping him, she was called a hypocrite and criticized heavily by the same fan base that called her lack of support an issue.

In essence, Skyler is so heavily hated by a portion of Breaking Bad fans because Walt is so heavily beloved. While the show makes it clear that fans aren’t meant to empathize with or like Walt, most viewers naturally end up doing so anyway. Unfortunately, given Walt’s role as an antihero and the actions that come with it, this forces Skyler into the perceived role of the anchor that weighs Walt down with a lack of support for his endeavors in all respects.

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