Television has always been a magical portal, offering viewers a glimpse into alternate realities, stories, and characters. Some of these fictional individuals become celebrated icons due to their charisma, compelling storylines, or seemingly attractive traits.
However, upon closer inspection, certain well-loved characters demonstrate problematic behavior that can be toxic and harmful, normalizing attitudes that should be challenged.
Dexter Morgan From “Dexter”
I find the show engaging, but I can’t overlook that Dexter is a disturbing character influenced by his father. Nurturing a child to become a serial killer, even to target criminals, is deeply unsettling.
Regina Mills From “Once Upon a Time”
They give her quite the redemption arc, trying to elicit sympathy by the end. Sorry, but no amount of character development can justify the terrible things she did, like casually gaslighting a therapy-needing child who was stolen and lied to for a lifetime.
Christian Grey From “Fifty Shades”
It’s just because he’s rich and handsome. It’s romantic only because of that. Imagine the story, but a broke, ugly guy tries to get a girl into subjugation and does a bunch of stalking. I 100% guarantee it will be advertised as a horror movie.
Dr. House From “House”
He may be a genius doctor, but he’s an awful person. His misanthropic attitude and manipulation for his own gain show no respect for human life, only the science of medicine.
Barney Stinson From “How I Met Your Mother”
Barney Stinson is an epic ladies’ man. He seems to have no commitment issues and loves the chase of finding a new woman. Although he can be seen as charming, his single-mindedness often leads to him taking advantage of women to get what he wants.
Rick Sanchez From “Rick and Morty”
He is a complex character who repeatedly abandons his family, mistreats those close to him, and purposely places them in danger. Despite the creators’ efforts to discourage excusing his actions, fans still admire this genius yet troubled scientist.
Don Draper From “Mad Men”
Don Draper appears to be a successful ad executive and family man, but his alcoholism, womanizing, and deception run deep. He is often abrasive towards those he considers beneath him and makes decisions with little regard for the consequences.
BoJack Horseman From “BoJack Horseman”
Despite battling substance abuse and mental health issues, some viewers romanticize his struggles, overlooking the harm he causes. While the show’s creators portray these traits honestly, glamorizing such behavior can perpetuate real-life harmful patterns.
Hannibal Lecter From “Hannibal”
The NBC show Hannibal threw viewers into an insane world of murderers and made its most notorious killer a romantic figure. The dark and twisted world created by the show was said to be too bloody and disturbing for some—yet many others were attracted to the character’s complexity.
Thomas Shelby From “Peaky Blinders”
He’s quite the antihero, but let’s face it, he’s a charmingly ruthless, murderous psychopath.
Negan Smith From “The Walking Dead”
Of all the terrible things that man did, it’s astounding that some people defend him. Negan’s dominance through intimidation, cruelty, and psychological manipulation adds to his toxic character.
Despite occasional redemption and glimpses of a softer side, his past violence and inflicted terror overshadow these redeeming qualities.
Peter III From “The Great”
Peter is as appealing as a sunburn, but his violent penchant is chilling. Not the kind of guy you’d want to tie the knot with.
Spike From “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”
Aside from the egregious sexu@l assault, this guy is a red flag on legs! The way people excuse and glorify everything he does is beyond nauseating.
The Characters From “Friends”
They are the loveable bunch of self-absorbed, entitled narcists who master the art of using and abus!ng each other with finesse.
The Characters From “The Wire”
While some viewers see characters like Jimmy McNulty as antiheroes, others believe that they represent toxic masculinity through substance abuse, disregard for rules, and a tendency toward violence. Despite his entrepreneurial acumen and intellectual curiosity, Stringer Bell is criticized for his ruthless and manipulative tactics.
Chuck Bass From “Gossip Girl”
Chuck displays an unhealthy obsession with power and control, especially towards women. While some argue that Chuck evolves, growth doesn’t excuse past toxic behaviors.
Carrie Bradshaw From “S*X and the City”
Carrie’s affair with the dreadful Mr. Big showcased her dedication to self-prioritization. And who could overlook the moment she berated Charlotte for not providing financial aid to compensate for her mistake?
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