Republican representatives of New Mexico want new statues that don’t break bad.
After two statues immortalizing “Breaking Bad” characters Walter White (Bryan Cranston) and Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) were unveiled at the Albuquerque Convention Center July 30, New Mexico Republican Rep. Rod Montoya and Albuquerque-based conservative radio talk show host Eddy Aragon criticized the city’s decision to commemorate the Emmy-winning AMC series.
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“I’m glad New Mexico got the business, but really?” Rep. Montoya told Fox News. “We’re going down the road of literally glorifying meth makers?”
Radio host Aragon added, “It’s not the type of recognition we want for the city of Albuquerque, or for our state. What you saw on ‘Breaking Bad’ should be a documentary, honestly. I think, really, that is the reality in New Mexico. We try to say it’s fictional, but that is the reality…we’ve joked that [‘Breaking Bad’] should be on PBS. That is, unfortunately, the reality.”
Aragon further slammed the “brand new statues” for replacing an ode to Spanish conquistador Juan de Oñate, who was the first Spanish governor of New Mexico.
“Now we’re putting fictional characters out in front,” Aragon continued. “We have Jesse Pinkman and, of course, Heisenberg, and we have now erected statues and our progressive mayor from the city of Albuquerque has stood behind them. We’re funding those, so it’s OK to go get rid of real historical figures and now, somehow it’s even better, to [have] fictional, drug-dealing figures.”
The sculptures were donated to the city of Albuquerque by “Breaking Bad” series creator Vince Gilligan and Sony Pictures Television.
“Over the course of 15 years, two TV shows and one movie, Albuquerque has been wonderful to us,” Gilligan said in a press release. “I wanted to return the favor and give something back.”
Yet at the ceremony to unveil the art pieces alongside Albuquerque mayor Tim Keller, Gilligan said that honoring “two fictional, infamous meth dealers” could be controversial to some. Instead of “glorifying” the drug trade, Gilligan noted that the “Breaking Bad” legacy should be viewed as “cautionary tales.”
“In all seriousness, no doubt some folks are going to say, ‘Wow, just what our city needed,'” Gilligan admitted. “And I get that. I see two of the finest actors America has ever produced. I see them, in character, as two larger-than-life tragic figures, cautionary tales.”
Albuquerque mayor Keller added that the “Breaking Bad” statues were in honor of the numerous jobs the series provided the city and state over the years. “While the stories might be fictional…jobs are real every single day,” Keller stated. “The city is also a character. We see ourselves in so many ways, good and bad.”
“Breaking Bad” concluded in 2013 and spurred the Netflix film “El Camino” and AMC’s prequel spinoff series “Better Call Saul,” centered on the origins of Bob Odenkirk’s cracked attorney. “Better Call Saul” recently wrapped up its final season.
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