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Ward Cameron has made some bad choices, but does that make him a bad person? Many Outer Banks fans have come to hate the character, but there has been some debate on whether the father is truly an evil villain. Ward’s actor, Charles Esten, revealed what he thinks is the motivation behind Ward’s dark actions. Here’s what Esten said, plus what fans have thought about the Kook dad.

[Spoiler alert: The following story contains spoilers for Outer Banks Season 1.]

Outer Banks stars Charles Esten as Ward Cameron and Caroline Arapoglou as Rose
Outer Banks stars Charles Esten as Ward Cameron and Caroline Arapoglou as Rose | Jackson Lee Davis/Netflix

Ward Cameron spiraled down a criminal path in ‘Outer Banks’ Season 1

Early in season 1, Ward Cameron was depicted as a rich man in Kildare County who built his wealth from scratch. He shared a close relationship with his daughter, Sarah Cameron (Madelyn Cline), and acted as John B.’s (Chase Stokes) boss.

Later on, viewers saw that Ward had a violent side, as he beat up the drug dealer, Barry (Nicholas Cirillo), to protect his son Rafe (Drew Starkey). He also acted suspiciously when he invited John B. to live in his home with Sarah, and fans soon learned that he had an ulterior motive with the invitation.

Ward invited John B. onto his boat to probe him about the $400 million in gold from the Royal Merchant. However, the trip went south when John B. discovered that Ward killed his father, Big John (Charles Halford). Ward attempted to kill John B. to keep him quiet, but when the teen escaped, Ward stabbed himself in the arm and framed John B.

Finally, when Sheriff Peterkin (Adina Porter) came to arrest Ward for killing Big John, Rafe shot her. Ward then waited to call the police to ensure her death and framed John B. for the murder.

Throughout Outer Banks Season 1, Ward’s actions came across as attempts to protect his family and keep his wealth. So, the question remains: is Ward evil to his core, or is he just desperate?

Charles Esten thinks Ward doesn’t have terrible intentions

According to Esten, Ward’s actions thus far have come from a place of poor judgment.

“I think he had good intentions. It’s not that his intentions weren’t good. It’s just that maybe his judgment isn’t good,” the Nashville star told Us Weekly. “Every decision he made, he sorta doubled down later, and by the end of it, he was cornered.”

Esten teased that Ward will spiral even further in Outer Banks Season 2. He continued:

“The story makes him double down in ways that are mind-blowing. Ward is like, ‘Oh, what do I gotta to do to protect Sarah?’ ‘No wait, Rafe!’ ‘No.’ So, he’s always just trying to hold it together, but it’s the kind of thing you can’t hold together. … Ward’s not masterminding anything. He’s just trying to hold this world together and get out free. That’s what I love about him — he’s desperate and many-faceted.”

When it comes down to it, Esten said Ward often experiences an inner debate regarding which child he should side with. There’s Sarah, with whom he shares a close relationship. Then, there’s Rafe, who has traveled down a wrong path but might have his own good intentions, as Ward does.

“Rafe is not as amazing, but that’s the thing about Rafe, the way he is played with that heart,” the actor said. “You feel for him too, he’s trying to do the right thing, but he’s just not able to get there.”

Many ‘Outer Banks’ fans have some strong feelings about Ward Cameron


‘Outer Banks’: 3 Questions Fans Need Answered in Season 2

Whatever Ward’s intentions may be, many fans have already made up their minds about disliking the character.

“No other show has genuinely ticked me off more than Outer Banks… like it’s a great show, but ward and rafe cameron are two of the most disgusting, useless human beings,” one person wrote on Twitter.

“No one makes me want to punch them into oblivion as much as ward cameron does in Outer Banks,” another user added.

Of course, some fans like Esten’s character.

“I hate to say this, but Ward Cameron is my favorite person on Outer Banks,” another user said.

In the end, many viewers just love to hate on Ward.

“I’ve never hated a fictional character more than Ward Cameron from Outer Banks, and I love it,” one person wrote.

Outer Banks Season 2 is now available on Netflix.