‘The Golden Girls’: Why Did the Writers Break up Rose and Miles?

The Golden Girls‘ Rose Nylund (Betty White) is one of TV’s most adored characters. For seven years, viewers watched the ups and downs of Rose’s dating life. Fans were thrilled when Rose found love with Miles Webber (Harold Gould); however, they were heartbroken when the couple later split up. To this day, fans are still upset with the show’s decision to end the couple’s relationship.

'The Golden Girls' actor Harold Gould hugs Betty White on patio set of the sitcom.
Harold Gould and Betty White I ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

‘The Golden Girls’ split up Rose Nylund and Miles Webber due Harold Gould’s schedule

Rose had plenty of suitors on The Golden Girls, but Miles stole her heart. Miles is introduced during the fifth season and is a college professor. Rose falls in love with Miles but fears she’s not smart enough for him. But Miles reassures her he loves her the way she is.

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Rose and Miles’ relationship faces many challenges, including opposition from his daughter and Miles’ revelation of being in the witness protection program. Yet, their love survives many obstacles, and by the series finale, they’re still together. However, in The Golden Palace, Rose and Miles break up.

In White’s autobiography, Here We Go Again: My Life in Television, the actor reveals why the producers decided to end Rose and Miles’ relationship. According to White, Gould’s busy schedule was the reason for the storyline. “Being an actor in great demand, Harold had another commitment he had to fulfill, so the writers had Miles marry Nanette Fabray. The cad,” White wrote.

Miles Webber broke Rose Nylund’s heart

Miles makes his first The Golden Palace appearance in the third episode, “Miles, We Hardly Knew Ye.” Rose is upset when Miles begins cancelling their dates; meanwhile, Blanche Devereaux (Rue McClanahan) becomes suspicious after discovering Miles’ name in old guestbooks. Blanche shares her suspicions of Miles’ infidelity with Rose, who breaks up with him before he can defend himself.

However, Rose and Blanche later discover that Miles from the guestbook is a different person. Rose reunites with Miles but ends their relationship when he confesses falling in love with another woman. In later episodes, Rose unknowingly plans the wedding for Miles and his new bride, Fern (Nanette Fabray). Although she’s upset, Rose accepts Miles has moved on and she should too.

Fans are still upset over the couple’s split

Miles cheating on Rose was a huge shocker because he appeared completely devoted to her. His betrayal ruined the lovable character who won the fans’ approval. Although it’s been three decades since the couple’s split, The Golden Girls fans aren’t over it.

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On a Reddit thread, fans discussed their hatred over the storyline. “Rose’s character didn’t deserve it. Who would think Miles would ever cheat?” wrote one fan. “Both characters didn’t deserve that. Miles’ character assassination and Rose’s being betrayed,” replied another user.

One fan came up with a unique way to cope with Rose and Miles’ situation. “The Golden Palace changed the characters so completely. I just ignore it. In my headcanon, Miles and Rose get married.”