The breed as a whole was originally intended to be a multi-use working animal. Herding, guarding, protection, etc. In general the breed is supposed to bond closely with people - but not too many people! - and do a particular job. They're intelligent and hard working under the right hand, but typically aloof: you won't see them greeting strangers like a Labrador would.
All of this translates as a serious dog with (too much) power - some individuals can't handle that. Hence you get dogs with aggression, anxiety, and other behavioral problems. Some people just don't provide a proper outlet for physical/mental energy and that is where the problem is.
You also have people breeding these dogs for profit. Resulting in poor health and an unstable temperament. I don't know how many GSDs i see come through that have anxiety issues and are unable to cope with boarding/grooming without pitching a fit.
So in a sense, yes. The breed has a bad rap but with reason. Too many unstable poorly bred examples and not enough smart owners who handle the animal properly. Then you've got people who don't recognize canine body language and provoke an animal unintentionally (wagging tail does NOT mean "i'm friendly, come love up on me") but that's a whole other story.
A well bred, stable GSD is a lovely animal and can make a wonderful pet for the right family. A friend in middle/high school had two of them and they where the best dogs ever. Very well adjusted and friendly once they warmed up to me.