At the unveiling of bronze statues depicting Breaking Bad characters Walter White and Jesse Pinkman at the Albuquerque Convention Center last month, Vince Gilligan acknowledged the meth-making elephant in the room. The pride of the New Mexico city is “two fictional, infamous meth dealers,” he said, and “no doubt some folks are going to say, ‘Wow, just what our city needed.’ And I get that.”
Gilligan was right: some folks (Republicans) are saying that.
Variety reports that “Albuquerque-based conservative talk radio host Eddy Aragon and Republican state representative Rod Montoya are two public figures condemning the 500-pound statues.” While appearing on Fox News, Montoya said, “It’s not the type of recognition we want for the city of Albuquerque, or for our state.” He added that “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.” He also said the statutes are New Mexico “going down the road of literally glorifying meth makers.”
Aragon blasted the state for erecting Breaking Bad statues after it decided to take down a statue of Spanish conquistador Juan de Oñate, who was the first Spanish governor of New Mexico. “Now we have brand-new statues,” Aragon said. “Now we’re putting fictional characters out in front. 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.”
Gilligan believes the statues are appropriate because he sees “two of the finest actors America has ever produced,” while Albuquerque mayor Tim Keller has preached the positive economic impact that Breaking Bad has had on the city. Maybe Montoya and Aragon would stop griping if a Kim Wexler statue was erected, too. That’s something everyone, no matter your political beliefs, can enjoy.