Warning: This article contains spoilers for Wednesday season one.
Wednesday, the new Addams Family reimagining, has proven to be a big hit with Netflix viewers this Thanksgiving week — mostly thanks to Jenna Ortega’s pitch-perfect performance in the title role. Unfortunately, not every member of the show’s ensemble cast of kooky characters is making a positive impact on the fandom. There’s one character, in particular, that everyone agrees is the worst. And director Tim Burton is getting the blame.
The character in question is Xavier Thorpe (Percy Hynes White), one of Wednesday’s love interests in the series. A fellow student of Nevermore Academy, a boarding school for outcast kids, Xavier is portrayed as a sullen, angst-ridden teen with an obsessive, possessive attraction to our gothic heroine. While this initially makes him a likely suspect for the town’s monstrous killer, the season ultimately lets Xavier off the hook and it’s hinted Wednesday and Xavier could become an item next season.
Unfortunately, it seems precisely zero viewers are interested in this eventuality, blasting Xavier for his unlikable personality and toxic behavior. One viral hot take roasted the character for being “gross,” labeling him as an “incel” and arguing that he could be interpreted as “Tim Burton’s self insert.”
Burton has famously littered his previous projects with weirdo male characters who nonetheless end up “getting the girl” — see Edward Scissorhands, a movie literally born out of his doodles as an awkward teenager.
Still, in this case, he may be allowed off the hook. As those in the comments point out, Burton had nothing to do with the scripting of Wednesday, with showrunner Alfred Gough and Miles Millar (Smallville) heading up the writing team. Still, it’s hard not to see the connection between Xavier and other characters from Burton’s filmography, who maybe haven’t aged all that well.